I don’t often toot my own horn, but I feel like over the past few years I have become a connoisseur of red sangria. It all started when I was working on a political campaign (about 5 years ago… before I was a wife or mom). I didn’t have much time to cook, so I went to this great spanish tapas restaurant 4-5 nights a week. I would sit up at the bar, chat with the bartenders (we all knew each other by name) and order my food and a glass of wine. I was never much of a red wine person until one night, a bartender talked me into a glass of red sangria, I was hooked!!! After several months of regular dinners and sangria there, one of the bartenders told me how they make their Sangria. Since then, our family gatherings have never the same!
While there is a lot of debate over the history of sangria, most historians agree that sangria was in some form created to cover up mediocre wine and to use up leftover bottles. For that reason there is not an “official sangria recipe” but rather many recipes depending on taste and preference. At it’s earliest, it is traced back to Spain and Portugal, so it might be a little more authentic to use a Spanish Roja, but experimenting and coming up with what you prefer is also in the “spirit” of the cocktail. The wine of choice was combined with some brandy, a sweetener, and fruit to create a wine punch. Depending on what is added, the alcohol content can range from around 4% all the way up to 15% alcohol by volume, so drink with caution!!
Many recipes call for sparkling water or lemon-lime soda. I do not use any for this recipe, but when I am serving a pitcher at a party, I usually keep a few bottles of sparkling water near by for guests to add to their own glass. If they want a lighter version… I prefer it as listed below.
The recipe that the tapas restaurant uses for a single glass is:
Red table wine (Roja, approx. 6-8 oz)
1 shot of triple sec
1 shot of brandy
1 shot of simple syrup
Shake and pour over ice.
garish with chopped apple, orange and lemon.
Over the past few years I have come up with a few modifications that I really love. If I don’t have all the fresh fruit on hand, I eliminate the simple syrup and and add orange juice. I will add whatever fresh fruit I can find, but the, “quick, I want to make a single glass right now, or there is not fruit available,” recipe looks more like;
Red table wine, whatever is on sale
1 shot triple sec
1 shot brandy
1/3 cup (or to taste) fresh orange juice.
When we are having a gathering I usually make a big pitcher. Rarely is there any left over. For a pitcher I use a double bottle of red wine, 1/2 cup each of brandy and triple sec, and close to a cup of orange juice. I ALWAYS taste it and adjust as I see fit, it is the prerogative of the chef to always taste while you are mixing.
- Red table wine, whatever is on sale :)
- 1 shot triple sec
- 1 shot brandy
- ⅓ cup (or to taste) fresh orange juice.
- Shake ingredients and pour over ice
- Garnish with fresh fruit
- For a pitcher:
- regular or 1 large bottle of red wine
- ½ cup Brandy
- ½ cup triple sec
- cup orange juice
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