It’s amazing how a certain food, drink, flavor or smell can transport you back in time or even across continents! After living in Thailand for 2 years, I came home and was immediately on the hunt for a great Thai restaurant. It didn’t happen for a long time, but finally I found an authentic Thai restaurant and as soon as I ate their Pad Gra Pow (a stir-fried dish with Thai holy basil, also known as Krapow because of spelling differences) I was instantly transported back to the days eating this meal at my favorite little street food restaurant.
It’s the same for me with Sangria. Is there any better memory than sitting in the sun in Spain, listening to live music and drinking a jug (or two) of perfectly crafted sangria? And yup! as an avid world traveler, I have had that opportunity and can’t wait to do it again.
Well, I am here to tell you about 4 delicious and easy Sangria recipes to enjoy this Sangria Day (today!) and any day throughout the year. Let’s be honest, every day is Sangria Day, right?
Firstly, a quick explanation of what sangria is for anyone who doesn’t know. Sangria is a cocktail made up of red wine (or sometimes white), fresh fruit, fruit juice, sugar, honey and sometimes liqueurs. It really is one of the most versatile drinks around, as you can tweak any recipe to suit your own taste buds.
Want a simple tutorial and brandy sangria recipe? Check out what Alton Brown from Food Network has to share.
Interesting fact: Sangria was actually illegal in Virginia because there was some obscure old law that stated you couldn’t mix beer or wine with spirits! Lucky for everyone, sangria is legal to drink in all 50 states now! Okay, now we know what goes into a standard sangria we can take a look at some alternative recipes to spice things up!
One for the Winter: Mulled Sangria
Now, sangria is traditionally served in a jug or pitcher, so if you don’t have one of those at home, pop it on your shopping list! Of course, you could get creative like me and my housemates when we couldn’t find a jug for sangria, and make it in a vase, but I wouldn’t recommend it (it’s surprisingly difficult to pour sangria from a vase into glasses in a sophisticated manner, trust me). Okay so during these cold winter months you do NOT need to miss out on some tasty sangria, and you can actually have it hot!
All you need for this recipe is a bottle of red wine, 2 cups of cranberry juice, ¾ cup of orange liqueur, 2 cinnamon sticks, orange peel, a couple of apples and ½ cup of brown sugar. The making of mulled sangria is super easy. Like, you won’t believe how easy, easy. All you need to do is put the wine, juice, liqueur, cinnamon and brown sugar in a saucepan and heat gently for a few minutes (until the sugar’s dissolved) and then take it off the heat and set it aside for 15 minutes. In these 15 minutes you could kick back and relax (recommended) or you could chop up the apples and get your orange peel garnish ready (the adult thing to do). Once the wine has cooled slightly you can add the apples and serve!
One for Those Rushed Days: 5 Minute Sangria
We all have those days where the literally aren’t enough hours in the day! It might be work that’s stressing you out or the fact you have friends over tonight and have not prepared anything! Those days are hard, but you can turn it around in just 5 minutes by making this delicious and easy sangria. Any party or barbecue will be a win with a couple jugs of this on the table. And another reason this is great…no measurements!
All you need is a bottle of wine, some kind of lemon/lime soda, limes, lemons, cherries, oranges and some pineapple (pre-cut or canned will be absolutely fine, otherwise this is not taking 5 minutes!) Using fresh juice in sangria is the key when you want to make it quickly. You’ll want to juice the lemons, limes and oranges (I would recommend 1 of each but it depends on your taste) and this will be the first thing to go into your pitcher. After that you want to cut up your cherries and probably another lemon, lime and orange. Add all this cut up fruit to your pitcher with the can of pineapple and now it’s time for wine!
Usually, you would aerate wine before putting it in sangria but there’s no time for that, so a handy tip is to put it in the blender for a minute. Add the wine to fill the jug about ¾ of the way and then add your lemon/lime soda to the top! Bam. Your 5-minute sangria is ready to drink use your favorite red wine glasses to make it feel like you spent “hours” making it special)!
One for the White Wine Drinkers: Simple White Wine Sangria
Even though I don’t understand it, some people don’t like red wine! I know, shocking. But for those of you who love white wine, this sangria recipe is for you! This would be a great summer sangria as it’s light and refreshing. I feel like this is a “lounge by the pool” sangria. What you’ll need for this recipe is a bottle of white wine, 3 shots of apple liqueur, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 lime, 1 lemon, 2 peaches, 2 apples and a couple of handfuls of raspberries.
Slice or chop the fruit and add some to a large pitcher, saving the rest for the glasses/serving. Add the sugar, apple liqueur and finally the wine to the pitcher and stir. You’ll want to chill this in the fridge for several hours to let the fruit and wine mix sufficiently. Once you’re ready to serve, pop some chopped fruit into a glass, pour the sangria over the top and finish off with a splash of soda water. You can add more if you prefer a more carbonated sangria.
Want another white wine sangria recipe? Here’s one from Cat Cora of Food Network, along with some nice Mediterranean dishes to go with it – in case you feel like going all in!
One for the Beer Lovers: Pear, Lemon & Beer Sangria
I told you there was a ton of different ways you can make sangria and I was not lying! This sangria has a base of beer instead of wine and is a refreshing twist on the classic sangria drink. You’ll need a couple cans or bottles of beer, 1 pear, ½ cup pear nectar, lemonade, ½ cup of Cointreau and some ice.
You should put the Cointreau, lemonade and pear nectar in the pitcher first and stir to combine. Slowly add the beer to the mixture, stirring to mix. Finally, fill your chosen glasses (maybe beer glasses for this unique sangria) a quarter full of ice and then fill to the top with your refreshing sangria mix. Add the sliced pears as well as any other garnish you fancy. Lemon peel would work well with this drink I think.
There you have it! 4 easy and unique sangria recipes that really will make every day, Sangria Day!
With a sangria for every occasion it’s going to be hard to justify not having sangria, isn’t it? There are, of course, tons of other sangria recipes out there that might take your fancy too. You might love a fresh cantaloupe sangria, strawberry rose sangria, apple cider sangria or blackberry vodka sangria! The possibilities for this drink go on and on. Or, why not get creative and just make up a recipe on your own or with a friend! Do I hear “sangria party” anyone?
Don’t forget to post your pics on social media – #NationalSangriaDay! Psst! In case you want to make some “adult” frozen beverages on Sangria Day, check out this video.
By the way, if you’re not up to making your own, there are LOTS of Sangria parties being held at bars and restaurants. Check your local hot spots!
If you’re excited about the endless sangria options, then make sure you’ve got the right equipment and check out TopProducts.com for some great reviews. They’ve reviewed everything you’ll need from chopping boards, blenders and fruit slicers to pitchers, glasses and ice makers!
Daisy Hubbuck, TopProducts Staff Writer