sangria party

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A fresh summer day. Relaxing outdoors with friends. Hours spent talking, laughing, living. Celebrate the season in easygoing, sustainably chic style. Invite friends over for a Sangria Party!

Think Sangria and most immediately imagine dining on an outdoor balcony on the sunny shores of Spain. The history of the drink originated in Roman times and has been a near constant in Southern and Mediterranean Europe ever since. The history is slightly muddled, and different regions use different names—Sangria, Tinto de Verano, Zurra are all reds; those made with white wines are often called Sangria Blanca, or Clerico.

Choose the wine based on your tastes for sweet or dry, light or intense. Don’t worry about a top-shelf bottle. Choose something with a flavor you like; you’ll be adding so many other ingredients that delicate flavors can be lost. It’s also a great way to use up an open bottle. The main pitfall in making sangria is the balance of sugar, wine, hard liquors, and fruits.

And it’s easy to make your own!

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Pick a beautiful, recycled glass pitcher and glassware—Sangria looks best in glassware that shows off the colorful fruits. Wine glasses, tumblers, or pints are all good choices.

It’s time to make some magic!

The Classic Red

When you say “sangria” this is what most people expect, only this is better.

  • 2 bottles red wine – a rich red like Rioja, Merlot, or even Cabernet
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • 2 oranges – cut in half, then into thin slices
  • 2 lemons – cut in half, then into thin slices
  • 3 limes – cut into thin slices
  • 2 apples – cored and cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • Ice

In a large container, combine the wine, brandy, orange juice and sugar. Stir till the sugar dissolves. Add the fruit, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled (overnight if possible).

To serve, stir in the sparkling water, add ice, and pour.

White Sangria

This is light, very pretty and super refreshing.

  • 2 bottles white wine – a crisp white like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • ¼ cup orange flavored liqueur
  • ½ cup white rum
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1 pound strawberries – hulled and sliced thin
  • ½ pound green seedless grapes – cut in halves
  • 3 peaches – pitted and cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 4 kiwis – peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • Ice

In a large container, combine the wine, orange liqueur, rum, grape juice and sugar. Stir till the sugar dissolves. Add the fruit, cover and refrigerate until well chilled (overnight if possible).

To serve, stir in the sparkling water, add ice and pour.

Have some fun:

Get creative with garnishes – use slices of citrus fruit, top each glass with a cherry or strawberry, whatever you have on hand that makes for a pretty presentation. Or keep it simple and unadorned.

You can change up the fruit to whatever you have on hand, or whatever flavors appeal to you. If you are using an already opened bottle of wine, you can substitute up to half a bottle of wine by mixing in another type of wine, or equal parts hard liquors and juice. The two bottles of wine do not need to be the same wine!

Other possible fruits:

Red grapes, pear, nectarine, blackberries, star fruit, pineapple, even watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.