Sangria is one of my favorite drinks. For my birthday, B asked me what I wanted to do for dinner and I quickly responded with, “tapas! And sangria!” It was a no-brainer, really. When I lived in NYC a few summers ago, it was a frequent mission to find the best sangria [and tapas] restaurants/bars that we could. [For my fellow sangria lovers who live in NYC, or who find themselves visiting that magic City That Never Sleeps, I recommend a trip to ALTA in the West Village. Their “Non-Classic Sangria” (both red and white) is to. die. for. And deceptively (read: very) strong.]
So last night, we were planning on cooking a light and clean meal (in direct contrast to the many episodes of Walking Dead we watched — post-Game of Thrones, obviously — in our vain attempts to get me up to speed before the season finale…). Before I made our dinner of sautéed chicken breasts in olive oil and garlic, and caramelized, shredded brussels sprouts in brown sugar and olive oil, B and I threw together this beautifully delicious beverage. After lots of tasting and adding, we finalized our ambrosial brew:
- 1 bottle dry red wine (we used cheap, Costco wine)
- ¾ c Brandy (I used the cheapest Brandy I could find and I think the final product tastes great. No need to go big when you’re adding all the delicious fruits.)
- ¼ c Cointreau (turns out B also has a well-stocked bar, in addition to her kitchen…)
- ~ ¾ – 1 c fresh orange juice (B juiced fresh blueberries, blackberries, and oranges together… Hea-ven-ly.)
- ½ orange (unpeeled)
- ¾ lemon (unpeeled)
- ½ can carbonated water
- ½ red apple
- 2 Tbs sugar*
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ c water (B is addicted to plain LaCroix, so we had that on hand)
Pour the red wine, Brandy, and Cointreau into a pitcher or big bowl. Cut up your orange and lemon into thin-ish slices and dice your apple. Throw all that healthy stuff in there.
Pour the water into a mug and microwave it until it’s hot – add your sugar and cinnamon and stir it all up until you get a cinnamon-sugary syrup concoction (the cinnamon won’t dissolve all the way, but that’s okay). Add a few ice cubes to it – to cool it off – and pour it into the mix. Lastly, add your juice and carbonated water.
Stick it in the fridge for 30-minutes-to-an-hour or until perfectly chilled and ready to drink! Serve over ice, in some snazzy glasses, for a perfect summer beverage to share (or not to share…) with your friends! After serving, B topped ours off with some POM juice, which added a perfectly tart little taste. If you find the final product to be a little too strong, just add an extra splash of carbonated water and/or juice.
Drink up, y’all!
* If you prefer sweeter sangria, then you may want to add more sugar. (B and I really liked how the cinnamon-spice flavor coupled with the dry red vino without being too sweet.) On the other hand, if you’re using store-bought OJ, it will have more sugar than the freshly squeezed nectar-of-the-Gods that B whipped up and you may not need any extra. I recommend making it with the 2 Tbs sugar and then adding more simple syrup to taste, if need be.