Tuesday, July 1

Sangrias made Simple: Easy to make red and white sangria recipes

Summer + sangria = Great way to cool down on a hot, muggy day. While searching for recipes to make the fun wine cocktail and found, instead, recipes with long lists of ingredients and, quite frankly, I am not certain I know anyone who wants to go to that much trouble for a drink. Particularly on a hot summer's day.

Soooo, enlisting the help of friends in the know on these things; answers ranged from, "experiment," "put in whatever you want," "throw in some vino and voila," and some great recipes also. All great advice.

Watch me create these recipes on Fox 59 Morning News Show by clicking here ~

One thing became clear: they all had four core ingredients. Deciding that's good enough for me, I started with those four. Below are the core recipes, with some tips and options.



Easy Red Wine Sangria
1 bottle of  semi or dry red wine (Spanish Rioja is great like Tempranillo)
1/4 cup brandy
1/3 cup white sugar
3 cups fruit or berries

Do NOT use a sweet wine as you have no control of the sweetness.
Use flavors that complement when selecting fruits and berries, but don't feel scared to try new combinations. Example, red wine goes great with mixed berries ~ I used 1 cup each of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Do NOT smash the berries or fruit.
Put the cleaned berries or fruit into a bowl and pour all of the brandy over it to let it soak into the mixture. It should absorb all of the brandy, about 15 minutes.
Pour red wine into a pitcher (clear is prettiest) or drink container with a spigot. Add the white sugar and stir. Slowly put in fruit or berries then gently stir again. Cover and refrigerate overnight (minimum four hours) to let brandy infiltrate wine and sugar.
Prior to serving, use a slotted spoon to pull out some of the berries or fruit and add a little to each glass before pouring sangria into glass. Any glass works; Mason jars are great as are hurricane glasses.
Scoop ice into pitcher and glasses (if person wants ice) and pour in sangria. 

Easy White Wine Sangria
1 bottle of  semi or dry white wine (Spanish Rioja is great like Viura)
1/4 cup brandy
1/3 cup white sugar
3 cups fruit or berries

Do NOT use a sweet wine as you have no control of the sweetness.
Use flavors that complement when selecting fruits and berries, but don't feel scared to try new combinations. Example, white wine goes great with fruit ~ I used 1 cup each of limes, lemons and oranges. Do NOT smash the berries or fruit.
Put the cleaned berries or fruit into a bowl and pour all of the brandy over it to let it soak into the mixture. It should absorb all of the brandy, about 15 minutes. Leave the peels on the fruit and cut into small chunks as people like to pull them out and nibble on them.
Pour white wine into a pitcher (clear is prettiest) or drink container with a spigot. Add the white sugar and stir. Slowly put in fruit or berries then gently stir again. Cover and refrigerate overnight (minimum four hours) to let brandy infiltrate wine and sugar.
Prior to serving, use a slotted spoon to pull out some of the berries or fruit and add a little to each glass before pouring sangria into glass. Any glass works; Mason jars are great as are hurricane glasses.
Scoop ice into pitcher and glasses (if person wants ice) and pour in sangria.

Other tips to remember
I like Spanish wines as Spain is where sangria was created. The brand I used is Franco-Espinolas and I had great success.
Fruits and berries can (for an extra flavor oomph) match the brandy you choose. A good friend who knows more about spirits and wine then most sommeliers I know suggested apples and apple brandy for the white wine sangria, which I will be making verrrry soon. Another great combination would be peaches and peach brandy with the white.
Red could easily welcome blackberry brandy and berries still with it or cherry brandy and a mix of cherries ~ you get the idea. Strawberries and rhubarb, passion fruit... the sky's the limit now that you have the basic recipe. Just switch out the fruit/berry choice and the brandy flavor.
Some folks toss in vodka of various flavors and that's good also. Anything goes, almost, is the key tip to remember. It's super easy to make and fun to switch things up a notch or two. I am already thinking of what I want to try next. And, you will never have a problem finding someone to taste test the flavors for you!

Let me know what flavor combos you like or try and whether these work for you.

Images: E. J. Musgrave
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts antic for Gotta Go. Catch her as Fox 59 Morning News Show's Travel & Leisure expert. Read Infused, her spirits & wine column at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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