The Cure for What Ails You: Sangria

white wine sangria, sangria recipe, sangria blanco, summer drinkThe mercury is rising. The street-smells are ripening (ew!). You take three showers a day just to feel normal. Hooray for summer in the city!

I don’t know about you, but the only thing keeping me sane is knowing there’s a pitcher of sangria waiting in the fridge. For, you know, emergencies…

Sangria is easy to whip up, and often requires nothing more than the fruits you have at hand. Traditionally made with red wine, brandy or another liqueur and juice, you can opt for the lighter and crisper sangria blanco. The sky, as they say, is the limit, however: some of the best sangrias I’ve had featured rose or sparkling vino!

There’s only one rule for sangria worth following: Experiment. Since you’re mixing the wine with other goodies anyway, go for a fun, inexpensive Malbec, Vinho Verde or even rose. Grab exotic fruits, pop open a bottle of seltzer and a dash of triple sec and you’re all set! In case you need inspiration, here’s a basic recipe for you:

– 1 750 ml bottle of wine

– 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (or to taste)

– 1 cup diced oranges

– 1 cup diced green apples

– 1 cup diced Bartlett pears

– 1 cup other fruits if desired (mango, peaches, grapes, cherries)

– 1/4 cup sugar (if desired… it depends on the wine you decide upon)

– 1/4 to 1/2 cup brandy or rum (optional)

– 1/3 cup flavored liqueur such as Grand Marnier, peach schnapps or triple sec

– Sprite or a similar soda (for the fizz/touch of sweetness)

Mix the ingredients (except for the soda) and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When you are ready to serve, pour mixture into a punch bowl or a jug filled with ice, mix in soda to desired sweetness. Again, the above recipe is a basic roadmap; feel free to add a lil’ of this, a pinch of that until you have a sangria you’re excited about. Sangria often tastes better when the fruits soak up the liquids, so it can be made in advance. The beauty, though, is if you find yourself with unexpected guests, you’ll seem like the ever consummate host. Just be sure to save some for yourself!

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