With summer in full swing there’s no better drink to sip by the pool than sangria. Filled with fruit, it seems less “boozy” and perhaps slightly “healthy”, so if you start drinking it before Happy Hour there seems to be less shame and guilt involved. Believe me the fruit only masks the alcohol, but who cares? It’s a drink I find hard to resist.
While I always have wine in the house, I am not a big fruit lover. Sure, if someone else brings it all bright and juicy and already cut up, I’ll generally eat my fair share, but I’m more attracted to the “idea” of it than its physical reality. Plus, I’m more a cheesy/salty person. Sweets of any kind just don’t float my boat.
I’m also not a big cocktail person, but sometimes extra wine or, to be honest, uncorking a bottle that’s just not to your taste, sends me to my bar to remedy the situation…especially if the bottle cost a pretty penny. Wasting alcohol is just not acceptable in our household. While I’ve been known to mix some St. Germain and soda water in a white wine (soooooo good!) to make a wine cooler (you heard me), red wine always puts me in the mood for sangria.
With no fruit on hand the last time I had a mediocre bottle I decided to use some of the liqueurs I had in my bar to see what I could come up with. Surprisingly, I came up with a mixture that tasted just like sangria but without all the chopping and macerating. Plus, let’s all be honest, the fruit is really a pain in the ass. Messy and practically impossible to get out of the bottom of the glass.
So this isn’t really an exact science, but more of an approximation to your own taste. It’s not exactly sweet since there is no added sugar like some recipes include. However, the liqueurs do have quite a bit of sugar in them and also add booze to the mix so it does pack a sneaky alcoholic punch. For those of you who don’t drink a lot of frou-frou, sweet cocktails if you have more than one you may regret it in the morning. Considered yourself warned…
(1) bottle of red wine - you may be tempted to cheap out here, but don’t do it. Cheap wine like cheap tequila makes you pay in the end. That said nothing over $15 please. There’s no need to actively ruin a good wine.
Chambord - French raspberry liqueur
Aperol - Italian Bitter Orange liqueur
Unflavored Soda Water
(1) big wine glass
Garnish of your choice (Optional)
Since ours was a bottle of leftover wine, I made these individually not in a pitcher. One is enough.
Fill the wine glass halfway with ice (5-6 big cubes). Pour 5 ounces of wine or fill about 2/3’s the way up the glass. Add 1 ounce of each liqueur. Stir and taste. Adjust to your palate, adding more of the liqueurs (or wine) to get the proper “sangria” taste. Then add a splash of soda water to give the drink a touch of fizz, but not to dilute it too much. Repeat for other guests.
Enjoy! All of the fun with none of the mess…