Y'all know I'm not big on recipes. So Sangria is right up my alley. I think every person who makes sangria makes it a different way. There aren't really a ton of rules. You need some young-ish, not-great-but-not-bad wine, some fruit, some sweetener and maybe a shot or two of Additional Alcohol, just for fun.
So my friend Susan had a Big Ass bottle of chianti that her mom had given her, and she asked if we wanted it. I guess I normally would've said yes, but I think of chianti as going well with hearty, steaming hot Italian tomato-y dishes, and it's just Too Dang Hot here for all of that. So I suggested we turn it into Sangria. Susan asked What All is in sangria, and I told her about the rather vague and open-to-interpretation rules (see above).
Being Sporting, Susan said she'd poke around in her cabinets to see if she could find anything yummy to put in it, and I said I'd do the same. When she came over the next day to make the sangria, we each pulled out our stash, and a motley crew it was. Besides the chianti, we ended up with:
- a bottle of blueberry wine from New Hampshire
- some ginger mint summer mulling spice (sugar-based)
- orange juice
- frozen peaches
- frozen mixed berries
- club soda
To be fair, I had purchased the brandy and soda specifically for the Sangriaxtravaganza, but the rest was all Laying About in someone's cabinet or freezer.
We measured nothing and mixed everything together in a Big Old Vase that doubled as a pitcher, tasting as we added stuff until we Loved It. And it really ended up being quite refreshing (if a wee bit potent). Rather than mixing in the club soda all at once, we added it by the glass so it would keep its sparkle longer, and it was Quite Nice on a rather warm day.
Do I recommend that you go and seek out blueberry wine from New Hampshire in order to make sangria? Quite the opposite. Use what you have. Use white wine or red wine. Add the kind of fruit you like. If you like it sweeter, add more sugar or more juice. If you don't want it so strong, leave out the brandy or cut it with more club soda. The whole point of sangria is to throw together something refreshing and tasty for a hot day, not to stress over checking off items from a shopping list.
If you own wine and juice, you're only a few pours away from drinking your own sangria, so go poke around in your fridge, freezer and cabinets and see what you can come up with!
And that's it for now. Have a truly lovely day.