At last, perfect for summer parties, a big pitcher of dry sangria that's fruity and refreshing, not cloyingly sweet and dizzyingly boozy. For anyone who's ever been turned off by sangria, this recipe will be a revelation.
In my life, the idea of sangria has always outsold the reality. I idealized a tall glass of Spanish wine served cold and spicy on a steamy summer’s day. The sorry reality: a cloyingly sweet wine punch with so much alcohol that a glassful dropped me into a doozey of a dozey daze. Instead, I wanted a summer sangria to sip, one that deserved and allowed a second cup.
So in a moment of inspiration, this perfect sangria was born. It added to a happy party one night, was appointed the drink of choice for the ‘family kitchen staff’ at a large party the next, and I sipped on the dregs for the rest of the week. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Finally, the idea and the reality of sangria become one.
MY PERFECT SANGRIA
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 5 cups
- 1 apple
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 tablespoons agave or honey, optional (see TIPS)
- 1 bottle red wine, preferably Spanish (see TIPS)
- 1 12-ounce cans diet fruity soda (see TIPS)
- Ice (see TIPS)
Core the apple, slice into thin rings. Slice the tips off the orange, lemon and lime, then cut into rounds. Drop << half >> the fruit into a pitcher, add the cinnamon stick, cloves and agave (see TIPS). Put the remaining fruit in a large bowl and ‘muddle’ (that is, smash) with the back of a wooden spoon to release the juices and oils. Place a colander over the pitcher, add the muddled fruit to drain the juice into the pitcher. Pour the wine and soda over the fruit through the colander into the pitcher. To allow the flavors to meld, refrigerate for an hour or so. Just before serving, add a big block of ice to the pitcher, otherwise, serve in glasses over ice.
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