Sangria Summer | Beat the Heat with these Fruity Spritzers

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Mulled wine is to the holidays, as sangria is to the summer. With a glass of fruity punch in hand, you’ll surely beat the heat in style.

Don’t languish in Virginia’s long, hot summer days. Instead, keep cool with a refreshing
and rousing libation. Sangria, derived from the Spanish word for “blood” (sangre),
traditionally is made with wine, fresh fruit, juice or soda, and spiked with a liqueur like brandy or cognac.

The intoxicating elixir is easy to whip up, and there are infinite combinations to create.
Depending on your wine and fruit preferences, you can grab a bottle of bold red or dry white wine, and then just toss in your favorite fruits—citrus, pineapple, peaches, apples, cherries … you name it.

In the following recipes, feel free to change up the fruit if you’re feeling creative. In lieu of limes, try lemons. Or if you’re not a fan of sour cherries, replace them with red grapes. You’ll find that when it comes to making sangria, you really can’t go wrong.


Classic Sangria (serves 8)

For classic sangria, use a bold Spanish red wine, like Tempranillo, Garnacha or Rioja, as the foundation. Spike the sangria with brandy, but if you are looking for a punch with a lower alcohol content, you can 86 the brandy. Rather than using sugar or a simple syrup as a sweetener, I recommend using a lemon-lime soda like Sprite to add just a hint of sweetness, along with some zippy effervescence.

1 bottle Tempranillo
(or another bold Spanish red like Garnacha or Rioja)

½ cup brandy

1 orange, cut into thin rounds

1 lime, cut into thin rounds

1 sour green apple, cored and sliced

1 cup sour cherries

2 12-ounce cans lemon-lime soda

In a large pitcher, combine the wine, brandy and fruit. Stir and refrigerate for at least an hour. To serve, add ice and top off the punch with lemon-lime soda.


Sangria Blanco (serves 8)

For white sangria, use a bottle of dry white wine and spike it with an orange liqueur. I favor Cointreau for its bitter and citrusy sweetness, but you can use other orange-flavored spirits such as Triple Sec or Curaçao. In this recipe, you’ll notice the same foundation as with the classic sangria—a bottle of wine, ½ cup of spirit, fresh fruit, and then top it all off with lemon-lime soda.

1 bottle dry white wine

½ cup Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)

1 lemon, cut into thin rounds

1 lime, cut into thin rounds

1 orange, cut into thin rounds

½ pound fresh raspberries

2 12-ounce cans lemon-lime soda

In a large, pitcher combine the wine, orange liqueur and fruit. Stir and refrigerate for at least an hour. To serve, add ice and top off the punch with lemon-lime soda.


Sangria Rose (serves 8)

Rose is my favorite wine for summer sipping. It’s refreshing and slightly fruity, and just so happens to be the perfect foundation for sangria. Enhance the bottle of rose with the raspberry liqueur Chambord, bunches of berries and nectarine slices. This is my new go-to drink for the rest of the season. Bottoms up!

1 bottle rose wine

½ cup Chambord

½ pound strawberries

½ pound blackberries

1 nectarine, sliced (or peach)

2 12-ounce cans lemon-lime soda

In a large pitcher, combine rose, Chambord and fruit. Stir and refrigerate for at least an hour. To serve, add ice and top off the punch with lemon-lime soda. 

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