Often described as wine punch, sangria or some iteration thereof has been a staple of Spanish culture for centuries. There is no standard recipe for sangria; every sangria we’ve had over the years has been subtly or noticeably different. (A few years ago, Cee was making a super-simple sangria by mixing red wine with 7-Up, which apparently all the cool young people in Barcelona were doing.) Generally, however, sangria is made from red wine flavoured with fruit or fruit juice; it is sometimes enhanced with brandy or another spirit.
On this cold midwinter evening, we wanted a drink to celebrate the return of the sun. Since one of us is in fact the Spanish Sun, sangria was the only logical choice.
- 1 bottle of red wine (we picked a Rioja)
- 2 oz brandy
- 2 oz Cointreau
- 4 oz mango juice (we used a mango/tangerine blend)
- 4 oz peach juice (we used a peach/pear blend)
- 2 oz simple syrup (or to taste)
Small or sliced fruits to flavour (e.g., cherries, oranges, apples; we also used blackberries)
The verdict: This was a sweet sangria, which made it more palatable for our non-wine drinker. If we were making this recipe for summer drinking, we might omit the simple syrup for a crisper finish. But for a cold evening to accompany hearty, spicy tapas dishes, it served us well.
From us to you, best wishes for the holiday season. Let us rejoice in the returning of the light. Cheers!