Note: It's mandatory that I make and serve my Sangria in this kick-ass pitcher which I painted on a recent trip to Mexico (while my fellow travelers were sunning and swimming ; )........I was in the shade, painting this pitcher and drinking Electric Lemonades. LOL. Thank you Steve, for gingerly carting it home on the plane!
Basic Sangria Recipe
1 bottle of rose' or red wine
1/4 cup brandy (I like apricot)
1/4 cup orange liqueur* (Great options from France, Italy and Spain)
1 cup of orange juice (I like the one with lots of pulp)
1/4 cup simple syrup (u know - 50% water & 50% sugar - bring to a simmer & stir until the sugar melts......let it cool and store it in the fridge) - I ALWAYS have this on hand in the fridge for emergency batches of sangria and to sweeten anything in a hurry)
lots of fresh fruit - (I use orange slices, lemon slices, lime slices and tart apple slices PLUS fresh blackberries, fresh blueberries and/or fresh cherries in season)
*If you're cheap, use Triple Sec (if you can't hang with Grand Marnier).....I recommend trying Gran Gala (Italy), Gran Torres (Spain), Cointreau (France) and without a doubt, Grand Marnier, also hailing from France. To me, orange liqueur and red wine dance a delicious tango. Damn, I love that dance. Especially while listening to Pa' Bailar by Bajofondo.I start with the fruit. Toss it into your favorite pitcher. Add the booze and mash a bit with a wooden spoon. Then, add the wine, the OJ and the simple syrup. Don't add ice cuz you don't want to dilute the flavors. Stir & chill. It's great after it's been in the fridge overnight, but you can drink it immediately too, don't worry! Serve on the rocks in pretty glasses with lots more fresh fruit. I also like to throw some lemon balm or lemon verbena in the glasses. I toss some into the pitcher as well. Seriously, it's no big deal. The stuff grows like weeds. Plant some.