A blend of wine, brandy, orange liqueur and lots of citrus fruit, sangria is a party in a pitcher. We love it in the summer, but it’s also perfect for winter parties when citrus is at its peak. After a rest of about 4 hours, the citrus softens, sweetens and adds complexity to the drink. Taste right after mixing it up and then again 4 hours later and you will see what I mean. What’s more, a pitcher of sangria improves over time and can even be made up to a day or two ahead, leaving you time for other important party planning, like what are you going to nibble while sipping away at all that delicious sangria?
Sangria is one of the easiest big batch cocktails to make. It’s festive, delicious and easy on the pocketbook since it’s not important to use expensive wine. As a matter of fact, one of the most important qualifications for the choice of wine is that it be cheap! Any medium-bodied red will work, but classic sangria is made with Spanish Rioja, a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes. Heinen’s is featuring a bottle of Manyana Tempranillo at the perfect price of $7.99, so buy a few. The better to make multiple batches, my dear!
Serves 8 plus
Start to finish: 4 hours 20 minutes
Hands on time: 20 minutes
- Two 750 ml bottles of Manyana Tempranillo or other medium-bodied red wine such as Merlot or Malbec
- 2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (from 4 oranges)
- 1 cup brandy
- 3/4 cup Cointreau
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 2 Cara Cara or Navel oranges, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 lemons, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 lime, halved and thinly sliced
- 16-oz sparkling water
- Combine the wine, orange juice, Cointreau, brandy, agave, oranges, lemons and lime in a large pitcher.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days so that the flavors can blend.
- Serve in large wine glasses with lots of ice, fruit and a splash of sparkling water on top.