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Having a Party? Invite the Sangria

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Sangria from AzucaGet out the wine, the fresh fruit, the spiced rum or brandy. Stir it together, add soda. Then, pour it over ice and sit back to enjoy one of Spain’s most flavorful gifts to the world of beverages — sangria.

Festive enough for Father’s Day or July 4th, it is summery, cool and refreshing. The colorful punch is also versatile and can be made with many variations. Any of them are reliable for helping us chill out on days and evenings when the temperatures are in the 90s, if not higher.

We’re offering this Basic Spanish Sangria recipe as a starting point. But, consider making sangria with white wine as well as red wine. (We’ve had the white wine style in Spain, but it is not nearly as popular as red wine sangria.)

Moving down to the sugar — this is also up to you. You know your guests’ tastes and your own; add sugar accordingly. Also, note the word “dry” describing the wine. That means not sweet. But if you have only have a sweeter wine, then leave out the sugar altogether.

One good reason to keep a big, clear glass pitcher in the cupboard is for presenting sangria: the rounds of sliced lime, lemon and orange, red strawberries or yellow pineapple, look beautiful and tempting showing through the glass.

Put fruit in as you like, but be sure it is fresh, because this is what sangria is about. That shot of rum or brandy? It is optional, depending on how alcoholic you want your drink to be. Remember, anyone can add a little more to their own glass if they wish.

Some like a sangria that’s spicy with nutmeg or cinnamon. We’ve had white sangria that had green grapes in it and white flowers floating on top. So, give your creativity a stretch and feel free to experiment. Just be sure you make enough for everyone and have plenty of ice on hand.

Basic Spanish Sangria

3 1/4 cups dry red wine
1-2 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 1 large orange
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 large orange, sliced thin crosswise
1 large lemon, sliced thin crosswise
1 lime, sliced thin crosswise
2 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks (or use chunks of fresh pineapple or wedges of fresh strawberries)
1 shot brandy or spiced rum, optional
1 cup club soda or ginger ale (the ginger ale version will be sweeter)

Combine the wine, sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, orange slices, lemon slices, lime slices and chunks of peaches (or pineapple or strawberries) and brandy or spiced rum, if using. Mix together well in a large punch bowl or glass serving pitcher. Refrigerate overnight. Immediately before serving mix in the club soda or ginger ale for added fizz. Ladle into cups or glasses with ice cubes.

Makes 4-6 servings

Adapted from

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