Friday, February 1, 2008

Red Wine Sangria Recipe

The Mission: to find a good sangria recipe to bring to bunco night. After some diligent searching, I found the Cook's Illustrated recipe for what they deem as The Best Red Wine Sangria. Since I really trust their methods of extensive testing and written details, I decided to give this one a try. This is all I needed:

I've never actually made red wine sangria. White is my preference. Many times red wine sangria is much too sweet tasting with loads of added sugar and fruit juices. This recipe is more minimal and simplistic.
The fruit is sliced up and placed into a pitcher. I doubled the recipe, so I used a large glass container.

The sugar is poured on top of the fruit. I like to use superfine sugar (easier to dissolve).

Crush the fruit a bit with a wooden spoon to incorporate the sugar and release some of the juices. Pour in orange juice and triple sec.

Cook's Illustrated recommends that you use cheap red wine for the recipe. They noted that more expensive bottles were tested alongside the cheaper ones and the less expensive versions actually tested as having had better flavor. I used a Spanish wine (about $8/bottle).

Here's the finished product. Pretty easy, eh? The whole tub 'o sangria was placed into the fridge for several hours to meld the flavors and chill it well.

One recipe serves "4," and I doubled it... wish I had tripled it for 10 gals. It was easy to drink. All of us enjoyed it. Everyone asked for the recipe! It was a hit at bunco night. I was delighted that this didn't turn out to be the god-awful sweet version that I've had so many times. After we plowed through all of the sangria, we munched on the wine-soaked orange slices. Whooo - eeeee! yum. This recipe for The Best Red Wine Sangria is a definite keeper. Truth be told, we never got around to playing bunco (but the sangria was good!)

This recipe can be found HERE.


Peter M said...

There's one bad thing about Sangria...never enough!

I love it and can't wait to make some when it's warm again.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Looks like a winner for any get together!

Chris said...

Very similar to our recipe!
Don't you love Sangria???

k said...

Okay, so. I stumbled upon your lovely site and saw this and feel compelled to chime in. My cousin is like the biggest sangria snob in the WORLD and so I've had some sangria rules beaten into me. Your recipe is awesome, but if you wanted to make it "gourmet," I would suggest...

1. Cheap wine is fine, but the key is selecting one that's dry and not fruity. Dry spanish table wines work awesomely (which seems like what you selected!)

2. I have never considered mixing the fruit with the sugar, but that makes a lot of sense. Generally I add sugar after mixing everything together to taste, usually about 1/4 - 1/2 cup, depending on the size of the vessel I'm using...

3. You can totally be creative with the fruit you use. In addition to highly citric fruit (oranges, lemons, limes) I love apples (they soak up the wine so wonderfully), peaches, pears, plums and -- because they are sooo pretty -- cherries.

4. I fortify my sangria. Now, this means that everyone is going to get d-r-u-n-k, but um, sometimes that's the point. I've read recipes that recommend brandy and recipes that recommend Gran Marnier, and in fact, I use both. The ratio is about 1/4 c for a large bottle of wine. (I split the brandy and gran marnier into 1/8c and 1/8c.)

5. I let the whole concoction sit overnight.

6. JUST before serving, I add about a 1/2 c of sparkling water (not club soda or anything with sodium). Alternately, you can add a little sparkling water to the glasses before pouring the sangria in. Just a splash gives it a little sparkle. (My cousin prefers to add the sugar right before serving instead of before you have it chill, but it's up to you.) :)

Yeesh - sorry for the novel. It's just soooo good!

RecipeGirl said...

Peter- we had this at night with some chocolate... it warmed up us pretty quickly!

CookieBakerLynn- Thanks for coming by!

Chris- I'll have to try your recipe too, but I might prefer it with less juice and no brandy...

K- love your suggestions! Thanks for taking the time to pipe in :)

jo said...

Just came upon this site and am loving looking through all the recipes and comments.
I made Sangria using a recipe seen on Michael Chiarello's show. It was delicious albeit similar to the ones shown here. Since fresh fruit is abundant this time of the year what a wonderful summertime drink it makes. k's is almost the same as this one.

Rose and Summer Fruit Sangria
3 size 750 bottles rose wine
1 1/2 cups brandy
*3/4 cup orange liqueur
1/2 cup sugar
2 apricots, sliced thin
2 plums, sliced thin
2 peaches, sliced thin
1 pint raspberries
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Ice cubes

In a large pitcher, combine the wine, brandy, and orange liqueur. Pour in sugar, stir or shake the pitcher thoroughly to mix. Add all fruit at once, Michael bruised the fruit a little, after adding it. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 hour before serving to allow the fruit flavor to come through.

Serve in glasses filled with ice.

*I did not have the orange liqueur on hand so used orange juice instead, turned out wonderful just the same. Also I garnished with fresh mint leaves.

kimmer said...

I can't wait to try this. I had a sample before I put it in the frig. and it's sooooooo good.

What kind of red wine?? I bought Livingston Sangria. I'm a white zin and reisling drinker, so I didn't know what kind to get.

Is sparkling water the same as seltzer?

Season to Taste said...

I'm planning a Spanish-themed dinner party, and was searching Sangria recipes b/c the one I'd put together seemed too sweet. As a fellow Cook's Illustrated devotee, I will try this one. Thx for posting!

Nick said...

Someone said that they can't wait for it to get warmer so that they can make/drink Sangria. We drink it in winter too - heated, with or without added mulling spices. Delicious!

Wholesome Chow said...

Thanks for this review of their recipe! I love sangria and will use this at a party we're having this weekend. Ohh... I cant wait!