Every now and then in the heat of the summer when cocktail hour rolls around, instead of starting off with a glass of crisp white wine, I like to change things up a bit. One of my favorite ways to do so is with this cool and refreshing summertime sangria. Yes, Virginia, you can add ice cubes to red wine without upsetting the wine gods, if you are careful :). Actually, you’ll appease them with the addition of fresh fruit, brandy, and orange liqueur. The combo is oooh, sooo good!
For this batch of sangria I included sweet blueberries and strawberries,
which not only are low in fat, carbs and calories, but also high in antioxidants and vitamins. Not only are these berries good for you, they taste wonderful. And the orange slices compliment the Cointreau (or whatever orange liqueur you choose.) What you wind up with is a great mixture of alcohol and fruit – a fantastic taste explosion that’s not too sweet – perfect to drink on a hot summer’s day when the temps are moving into the 90s.
- 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine ( I used a 2009 Montebuena Rioja
from Spain, but any hearty red will do)
- ½ cup brandy (I used Raynal VSOP)
- ¼ cup Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
- 1 large seedless orange, sliced
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered (or halved if small)
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- Simple sugar (Boil 2 tablespoons sugar in ¼ cup water.
Cool to room temp.)
- Sprite or club soda, depending on taste
Prepare the simple sugar by boiling 2 tablespoons sugar in ¼
cup water. Cool to room temperature.
Pour the wine into a large pitcher. I like using a good Spanish wine for my sangria, but any full-bodied red will do.
Add the brandy, orange liqueur and simple sugar, and stir until mixed.
Mix in the fruit and refrigerate for at least an hour (longer is better, up to 3-4 hours or so is great if you plan in advance.)
A note about the fruit – fresh pineapple chunks go great with this, as do granny smith apple slices, grapes and peaches. Have fun making your own combination!
Add ice to the pitcher, stir and pour into iced-filled glasses. Top with Sprite or club soda, briefly stir. Make sure you get plenty of fruit in your glass – it’s meant to be eaten as you savor your sangria!
Eat, drink and be merry!
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