My sister and I were out at [insert chain restaurant here] one Saturday afternoon when the waiter suggested we sample their Sangia. Immediately we were hooked. This led to a Sangria taste test, of sorts, while we tried to replicate the recipe. Did we like OJ or no OJ? Pineapple or no pineapple? Sprite vs ginger ale?
A lesson I learned early on is not to cook with wine you don’t like; adding it to a recipe is not going to endear it to you any differently and will just turn you off of the finished result. Case in point, I tried to make white wine sangria with a Gewurztraminer that I didn’t love. Sadly, I didn’t love it any more by camouflaging it with other ingredients. When possible, I use Yellow Tail Shiraz Grenache; the grenache adds a nice sweetness to the Sangria without being overbearing. Be prepared to double or triple this recipe because basically it’s just a (very yummy) doctored up bottle of wine which will go REALLY fast and have people begging for more.
So, after a pleasant number of attempts, I give you what has become hands down the number one favorite recipe for me and my friends.
- 1 medium all purpose apple, pared, cored and sliced (I used green apples)
- 1 cup pitted cherries, fresh berries or grapes (whatever is in season)
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks*
- 3/4 cup brandy
- 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
- 1 (12 ounce) can ginger ale to taste
- 1 cup orange juice to taste
- 1 orange – for garnish
Place the apples, berries or other fruit, and pineapple in a pitcher. Pour in the brandy and refrigerate for 2 hours or more (I usually “marinate” mine overnight.) Stir or shake periodically. Simultaneously chill the red wine, ginger ale, and orange juice. Gently crush the fruits with a spoon, then stir in the red wine, ginger ale, and orange juice. Add additional brandy or orange juice to taste. Slice the orange into thin rounds and use as garnish on the glass.
Kat’s tip: I absolutely am in love with my Pampered Chef Pineapple Wedger. Fresh, clean and cored pineapple is only minutes away without the mess and aggravation of using knives to “peel” the pineapple. Let me know if you can’t live without one and I’ll put an order in for you!
Nutritional information – values per serving are approximate:
I’m not going to ruin a pleasant day thinking about calories! Let’s just say that having fruit in your cocktail has to give it some health benefits (wink, wink).