Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer Sangria - Make this Now!

The weather has definitely heated up around here so, I think it's safe to say that summer is officially here!

Anyone who knows the littlest bit about me knows I love wine. I mainly stick to reds which gets a lot tougher during the summer. When the weather is hot, you just want something cold and refreshing. A warm glass of Merlot doesn't usually do the trick.

One of my absolute FAVORITE things to drink during the hot summer months is Sangria. You just can't go wrong with a mixture of wine, sweet fruits and ice cubes.

I am a bit of a Pinterest addict and I have a ton of different Sangria recipes in my collection. This recipe I'm sharing with you now though is my most favorite Sangria of them all. It has the perfect amount of sweetness, yummy summer fruits and best of all - BUBBLES!

Summer Sangria
1 bottle red wine (I prefer something sweeter and cheap for mixing!)
1 lemon, wedged
1 lime, wedged
1 orange, wedged
2 TBS sugar
Splash of Orange Juice or Lemonade
2 shots of Gin or Triple Sec (optional)
1 C. raspberries & strawberries
1 can diced pineapple w/ juice
4. C Ginger Ale or Sprite

I recently made this Sangria recipe for my neighborhood's monthly Wine Night and people loved it. Yes, my neighborhood is awesome and we have a Wine Night.

The original recipe is above and I'm going to walk you through the steps but I need you to stay with me on this since I made some changes. You are supposed to start this recipe the night before you want to drink it and chill it overnight. I don't know about the rest of you but, I'm not usually THAT on top of my social life planning. I want to mix this up and drink it within a few hours. I'll show you how I make that happen.

First, gather up all your ingredients!

Step 1: Pour the entire bottle of wine into a pitcher. I have this wonderful drink dispenser that I personally love to use for this type of drink. Then go ahead and cut your lemon, lime and orange into wedges and squeeze the juice into the wine and drop into your pitcher.

Step 2: Add the entire can of pineapple to your mixture including all of the juice. Then add 2 TBS of sugar and mix everything up until the sugar is dissolved.

Step 3: Now you need to add your other liquids. The original recipe calls for either a splash of OJ or lemonade. I found this sparkling lemonade drink that I think is perfect. Also, I add about half the bottle - not just a splash! Then go ahead and add your Gin or Triple Sec if you want to (I also add a bit lot more than 2 shots!) It gives is an extra little punch.

Step 4: Here's where my lack of planning and impatience comes in. If you are the opposite of me and manage to plan this ahead of time, here is where you stop and chill the mixture overnight - use fresh berries if you plan to do this. If you want to drink it the same day though, take this next step. I like to use frozen strawberries and raspberries simply because they are already prepped and ready to go. 

Step 5: Since you aren't letting this sit, the berries won't have time to really soak up the wine and meld their flavors in with the other fruits. So, I like to take about a 1/2 cup of each strawberries and raspberries and blend them up until liquefied. I pour a little bit of Sprite into the blender to really get it mixed up well. Once blended, pour it into your pitcher and mix everything up. Then I pour the other 1/2 cup of each berry directly into the pitcher whole. Put the pitcher into the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

Step 6: When you are ready to serve the Sangria, go ahead and add the Sprite (I prefer this over Ginger Ale). I also tend to put in a bit more than 4 cups - I love the bubbles! If you made this the night before, then go ahead and put your fresh berries into your mixture now. Fill the rest of your pitcher up with ice then serve and ENJOY!

I guarantee that everyone at your next party is going to ask you for this recipe. Just be careful - it goes down easy! Make sure you come back and let me know how it turned out for you!

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