We’re now in spring, meaning that summer isn’t far away, and what better summer beverage than sangria? If you have classic wine racks that are filled to the brim with wines, making your own sangria is a great way to make use of these. Sangria is simply a combination of wine and soft mixer with added fruits; however, the possibilities are endless when considering how many types of wine and mixer are out there. Whether you’re looking for red, white, or rosé, or lemonade, fruit juice, or cordial, there’s something for everyone so that you can make your sangria your own.
Choose Your Wine
Your first port of call is choosing which wine you’ll use for your base ingredient. There are a couple of approaches that you can take when it comes to selecting wine. First up is the budget friendly approach, wherein you opt for the most affordable option, as the flavor is to be masked by mixer and fruit anyway. Despite this, if you’re more of a connoisseur, you might want to pay more attention to your wine choice and how you complement its flavors with your pairings.
If you want to stick with tradition, you’ll be looking for a dry red, as “sangre” is the Spanish word for blood. Despite this, you can always mix it up by using white wine, rosé, or a sparkling wine. Regardless of your choice, you should always opt for a dry wine, as you’ll be adding plenty of sweetness to your cocktail. Similarly, you should also go for a young and fruity wine, rather than an aged and oaky one, as this will help you achieve the freshness that you’re after.
Select a Mixer
Although true wine connoisseurs may shudder at the thought of adding mixer to wine, it’s something that’s widely practiced throughout Spain. Traditional sangria contains classic lemonade; however, Fanta limon or other cloudy lemonades are also a popular option throughout Spain. Despite this, if you’re looking for something different, ginger beer or orangeade may also work in very controlled quantities. Alternatively, you might add in some fruit juice such as apple, grape, or blood orange juice and mix this with some soda water for a fizzy finish.
Choose a Spirit
This stage isn’t mandatory, but some people like to add a splash of spirit or liqueur to their sangria ahead of the garnishing stage. Once again, there are tow routes that you can take with this. If you’re looking to enhance the flavor, you should opt for something with a relatively low ABV; however, if you’re wanting to make the beverage more alcoholic, you should go in the opposite direction. For flavor enhancement, you may consider cherry brandy, red vermouth, sherry, fortified wine, or orange liqueur. In order to amplify your alcohol contents, you might select brandy, rum, or vodka.
Garnish Your Beverage
Pretty much any fruit will go well with sangria, but lemons and oranges are the most traditional choice. Despite this, many mixologists like to include strawberries, peaches, and cherries, too. You may even marinate your fruit the day before making your sangria by leaving your fruits in a sugared spice mix for an extra kick of flavor.
It’s also important to consider the nature of your wine when deciding on your garnish. For instance, a mixture of cava and grape juice may work better alongside berries rather than citrus accompaniments. Similarly, sangria with a crisp chardonnay as its base may work well with apple slices.
Are you ready for summer? Will you be making sangria to enjoy in the garden as the sun sets?