Sangria is a classic cocktail that sometimes gets a bad rap. If you order it in a restaurant, you never know what you’ll get – and it’s often disappointing. Some end up being too fruity and sweet, while others just taste like wine with a few pieces of fruit in it. A really good sangria has depth and complexity that belies its seemingly simple recipe.
My sangria starts with a medium-bodied pinot noir. Its berry-like aromatic properties make it a great foundation for a fruit-studded cocktail. Next, it gets a tangy citrus infusion from fresh oranges and triple sec. Apples provide a nice crunch and add to the flavor (as long as they are flavorful themselves). Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown in the south of Spain, and it adds depth to this sangria. My favorite red wine infusions always involve cinnamon, to give a little kick and additional complexity. This prevents it from tasting like overly-sweet fruit juice or, even worse, like not much of anything.
1 bottle pinot noir
2 oranges, peeled and cubed
2 apples, peeled and cubed (I like Kiku, Honeycrisp, or any other really flavorful and/or funky apple)
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup sherry
½ cup triple sec
Place ingredients in a container and refrigerate overnight. Chill the following ingredients overnight and add them before serving:
1 bottle of red wine, other than pinot noir (e.g., garnacha tinta, tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon)
1 bottle (12 oz) pomegranate, blackberry, or other dark fruit soda
Makes 6-8 servings