Festive BevX Sangria
Sangria is a festive drink with universal appeal. It's a fantastic choice when entertaining a group as all of the work is done long before your guests arrive. The problem with Sangria is that it is often executed poorly being made with substandard ingredients. Wine is the heart of this cocktail so logic dictates that your choice in wine can make or break your Sangria. First and foremost, always use a wine that you would drink as a solo performer.
Second, use a fruity wine with little to no tannins. Wines such as Cabernet, Merlot, and many Shiraz (Syrah) will wreck your Sangria with their firm tannins and angular nature. Value priced Pinot Noir, Grenache based wines, and young Beaujolais work well in Sangria. You need not spend more than $12. Beyond the wine, use a quality Orange Liqueur and a nice brandy. (You can use a VS or VSOP level Cognac if you don't have Spanish Brandy.) Use fresh and firm fruit and give the Sangria four hours to rest allowing the flavors to mingle and become one.
1 (750ml) bottle of Fruity Red Wine - if you use Cabernet you will be disappointed
3 oz. Orange Liqueur
4 oz. Spanish Brandy
3 long strips of Lime Zest
1 Orange, sliced into rounds
Pear and or Apple, cored and cut into wedges
4 oz. Wildflower Honey
1 Star Anise
Club Soda (optional)
Sangria is welcomed year round and it's always a good choice with tapas. However, I do love this in the spring and summer so whenever the cold breaks sangria can spontaneously happen in my house.
Once the shopping is done, this cocktail comes together in a flash. Simply cut the fruit and mix all of the ingredients together in a large pitcher or food grade plastic container. Once mixed, if you find the Sangria to be too potent, feel free to cut the drink with club soda to the desired strength and flavor. Make sure that work is completed ahead and allow the Sangria to rest for four hours or more, as this creates the harmonious flavors that you and your guests are seeking. Serve in highball glasses.
The variations are too numerous to mention. Just do a quick internet search and you will find countless recipes. Sangria is one of those cocktails that begs for your twist so feel free to alter this in any way. Just be sure to stay clear of intense and tannic wines.