When sangria comes to mind often our first envisioning is a deep bugandy red wine contrasted with the color of oranges wedges. I remember my first sip of a white sangria experience came after perusing the choice on the menu while dining in Toronto one summer. There’s nothing quite like a chilled glass of sangria. How fun I thought, white sangria’s is a change and how delicious was the experience. In later years I’d earn the reputation of the family sangria concocter at family gatherings. People always ask me how to make it. It’s fairly simple and doesn’t have to cost a lot money to make and serves quite a few. In a conversation with Chef Jay Bonilla, he once told me, “…the bottle of wine does not need to be expensive.” While making a glass of sangria for me, he used the famous inexpensive wine from Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw red wine, affectionately called Two Buck Chuck, Triple Sec and orange juice. There’s no one way to prepare a pitcher of sangria . Each color of wine deserves it’s own special treatment.
Intro by Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor
Red Sangria – In red sangria, citrus juices such as freshly squeezed orange, lemon or lime juice complement the sweetness of the wine and liqueur. However, cranberry juice cocktail can add a welcome tartness for those with less-sweet tastes. If you want a bit of fizz, choose a lemon-lime soda to finish or a soda water with a splash of lime and garnish with citrus wedges.
White Sangria – Lemon juice always works in white sangria, but consider adding sweeter juices such as white grape juice or apple juice as well. Finishing white sangria with a sparkling cider instead of soda gives it additional sweetness and makes it the perfect complement to spicy sauces and appetizers.
Rose Sangria – Well Blush was cooler for our title. Use juice blends such as mango-peach or pineapple-orange to complement the sweetness of rose sangria without overpowering the delicate blush wine. Chop strawberries and fresh mangoes to soak in the cocktail, and finish with plain soda water if carbonation is desired.