Serves: 5 people. Preparation time: 10 minutes plus refrigeration.
1 Bottle of Spanish Wine (Rioja, Tempranillo, Garnacha or Semi-Dry Red Wine)
4 oz. Brandy
2 Oranges (1 Diced, 1 Juiced)
1 Diced Green Apple
1 Diced Lemon (or Lime)
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 oz. Simple Syrup or 1 t. Sugar (Optional)
4 oz. Sparkling Water or Spanish Cava Wine (Optional)
12 Ice Cubes
5 Maraschino Cherries
5 Highball or Tall Collins Glasses
5 Straws (Optional)
Wash the fruit first. Juice 1 of the oranges and dice the other, include the skins, but remove any seeds. In a pitcher, add the orange juice, all the diced fruit, cinnamon stick, bottle of red wine and the brandy. Add just a few ice cubes and stir for a minute or two with a wooden spoon and muddle (crush) the fruit while stirring. Sweeten with simple syrup to taste if desired. Place in the refrigerator for 30-120 minutes. Serve over ice cubes in tall glasses with some of the fruit chunks in each glass. Sparkling water or Cava is an optional splash. Garnish with a cherry or slice of fruit. Straws are helpful.
"Sangria" - (pronounced "san'-gree-ya") - Probably originated in Spain or Portugal, or one of their new world colonies, like Ecuador. The European Union now regulates the use of the name "Sangria" to only those two Iberian continental nations. Literally it means "bloodletting" due to it's rich ruby color. Oddly, although an ancient drink in Europe and South America, Sangria didn't appear in the US until after WW-II. Primarily made with citrus fruits, you can find local variations with Apples, Peaches, Nectarines, Pears, Berries, Cherries or even Pineapples (grown in the Portuguese Azores). In parts of Spain, they just call it La Pegada (Punch). It became very popular at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. Both red and white versions can be made. The best Sangria always has Brandy added as a "kicker". Saludo!