When the weather is warm and the days are long, there is no drink I crave more than sangria. The combination of wine, booze, and fruit is refreshing, comforting, and delicious. While I enjoy making pitchers of new and different sangria variations, sometimes it's nice to go back to basics. After all, there is a reason the classic red wine sangria is so popular: it really is wonderful! My recipe is from a small tapas bar in Cordoba of which I no longer remember the name. I've been enjoying this sangria for eight years and simply think there is no better traditional sangria recipe. A combination of red wine, Pellegrino Limonata, rum, Cointreau, and apple schnapps, to me, it's the ultimate Spanish sangria. Here's how I make it.
Summer and cocktails are synonymous to me. Having a margarita or salty dog after a day of hiking has become a celebratory ritual, and nothing hits the spot like a cold beer after a long run or bike ride. The thing is, classic Summer drinks like mojitos and margaritas add up caloriewise, and often contain lots of sugar because of all the fruit juice and/or simple syrup. My solution? Bandit Sangria ($8).
Bandit wine is a line of boxed wines, but it's not like Franzia — it's better, way better. Since it's easier to carry around than a wine bottle, it's a good choice for outdoor activities like camping and picnics. And on the eco-tip, it's good for the environment: less energy and materials go into making and transporting the Bandit wine boxes. Aside from that it's a bit novel — like a juice box, except for adults.
I first came across Bandit Sangria when I was shopping for a picnic. I LOVE sangria, love it. But sangria has a lot of sugar — either added, or naturally from the fruit — or too much alcohol from the addition of brandy. Bandit sangria has neither. The ingredients are pretty simple: a blend of "premium California wine and natural cranberry and grapefruit flavors." And while it wasn't the best sangria I've ever had, it was a good alternative to a sugary cocktail, and made packing for my picnic that much easier.
When entertaining outdoors, be it in Spring or Summer, my favorite drink to serve is sangria. It's a versatile, crowd-pleasing punch that can be flavored with everything from sage to peaches. It's easy to create a large pitcherful, and the further in advance you make it, the better it tastes. For my postparade seafood feast, I'll be pouring this Rosé sangria. It's a combination of white grape juice, cran-raspberry juice, and Rosé. I'll make two batches: one with regular Rosé like the recipe specifies and another with sparkling Rosé. Guests can try both!
It's a great way to get conversation started among acquaintances. To check out the recipe, read more
The other day I found myself at my parents' house and I was thirsty for a cocktail. However, it had to be a simple recipe that didn't require fussy syrups or fresh citrus. There wasn't time to run to the store or make anything complex, so I grabbed Food & Wine Cocktails '09 and started browsing.
I knew my parents had St. Germain, the deliciously aromatic elderflower liqueur, and I settled on this uncomplicated recipe with a complex-sounding name. Like sangria, it perfectly combines wine with spirit.
Don't be intimidated by the gin; I served it to three non-gin drinkers and they loved it! The sweetness of the St. Germain and the crispness of the white wine balance it out. What I love most about this refreshing concoction is that it's not hard to batch; one could easily make a pitcher. It's also a great way to use pomegranate juice. Interested in the recipe? Read more.
I'll be up front and say that Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday. I'm an idealist who believes that every day should be full of love and affection. But I do appreciate that it's the perfect excuse to eat a surplus of chocolate, and better yet, just about the only occasion when it's acceptable to drink ridiculously girly cocktails.
This week, I couldn't resist the opportunity to create a blushing sangria. It gets its signature color from X-Rated, a vodka, mango, and passionfruit based liqueur, and tastes like a trip to the tropics.
For a festive cocktail that'll kick-start any Valentine's Day-themed girls' night out, read more.
Cocktails taste better when they're enjoyed with good company, but unless you're at a bar, it can take a lot of time to craft a bunch of different beverages. That's why I'm a huge fan of pitcher drinks like sangria and punch. All you have to do is make a large batch, and everyone gets a glass. Over the past year, we've provided you with tons of pitcher drink recipes. Just in time for the holidays and New Year's, I've selected my favorite ten.
Kick-start your Thanksgiving meal with a refreshing sangria-style glass of white wine. Made a day in advance, this wine is infused with oranges, Grand Marnier, and Pernod. Bay leaves and whole cloves give it an herbaceous, aromatic appeal that's sure to pair perfectly with baked brie and walnuts.
For the main course, select a versatile wine varietal that can support a lot of flavors. An affordable Chardonnay or light red are great options. Chat with your local wine shop owner for more suggestions. Tell him what you plan on serving and your budget, and he's sure to provide you with lots of ideas. For the orange wine recipe — this would also make a great Thanksgiving hostess gift! — read more
Just because Summer is long gone but that doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying sangria. Depending on the ingredients you employ, the wine-based punch can be sipped all year round. Instead of using a warm-weather fruit like peaches, this sangria is infused with Fall's most woody herb, sage. The recipe is simple, but the resulting drink is complex and earthy, perfect for sipping in front of a roaring fire. Honey adds a subtle sweetness and the sage makes this concoction an ideal pairing for any Autumnal dinner. Want the easy recipe? Keep reading.
From wine spritzers to cabernet caipirinhas, this Summer, I've been all about sipping wine-based cocktails. The one I'm most infatuated with is sangria. I've experimented with tropical fruit sangria and floral liquor sangria. However, before I made this version, I had never enjoyed a sangria with fresh herbs. The star of this sangria is basil. It infuses the wine with an aromatic earthiness. Fresh-squeezed orange juice further flavors the sangria and club soda provides a subtle effervescence. To enjoy this refreshing drink, that's perfect for sipping on the deck, get the recipe and read more
Why do I love sangria so much? Let me count the ways. It's wildly delicious and refreshing. It can easily satisfy a crowd and tastes best when made in advance. Essentially, sangria recipes takes inexpensive wine and turns it into something extraordinary. Oh, and it's perfect for sipping in the Summer at an outdoor concert!
Simply make in a pitcher with a lid and pack in a cooler. This recipe uses no hard alcohol, but instead combines wine with fresh fruit. The ingredient list calls for strawberries, peaches, and bananas, but any combination of fruit works well. To take a look at it, read more