A Spanish drink to celebrate American Independence? Come on, loosen up! Being down on Spain is so 19th Century. Especially for wine lovers, sangria is the drink of summer, so why not celebrate the quintesential summer day, and while you’re at it, our American freedom of beverage choice, by making a sangia that looks like a glass of fireworks? Oh, okay, call it Stars and Stripes Fruit Punch if it makes you feel more patriotic.
This is a bit different than my last sangria recipe. First, staying with the American theme, I wanted the brandy stand-in (traditional red sangria is usually made with a touch of brandy) to be apple-based rather than orangey triple sec. And, I wanted to use white and red wine together in the same glass, but without making somehting that looks rosÃ©. How is this possible you ask? It’s simple really: red wine ice cubes, some with a fruity twist!
When choosing a white wine, try to get something on the paler side to give the most contrast to the colorful fruit. Choose a lighter style red wine for the cubes–a big Zin will just be too heavy. Try to find a clear(ish) apple liquor like this one. If you can’t, then use another clear liquor of your choice. But, do not use apple flavored vodka or rum. These pack too much of an alcoholic punch and overpower the flavor of the wine. Stick to something with a higher sugar content. If you like your sangria on the dry side, use seltzer to top off the sangria, if you like it on the sweet side, then use a clear flavored soda (7-up or clear apple soda, if you can find it, would be best), or you can stir in some super fine sugar.
On the fruit: try to cut the apples so that there is some red skin on each piece. I just ate the middle part so that it wouldn’t go to waste. Oh, and I took a note from the Alton Brown school of shortcuts and used an egg slicer to cut my strawberries. Lazy? You betchya! But look how beautifully uniform the slices are!
Red, White, & Blue Sangria
about 2 cups of light-style red wine
1 bottle of pale white wine
1/2 to 1 cup of apple liquor (or schnapps)
2 cups of plain selter, 7-up, or clear apple soda
super fine sugar, to taste (optional)
2 bright red apples, cut into small cubes
2 cups blueberries
1 pint of strawberries, sliced
6 or so red cherries
At least 24 hours before drinking: Empty out an ice cube tray. Place cherries, stems kept on, in half of the compartments. Pour red wine into the tray (exact amount depends on size of the cubes). make sure cherries are submerged as possible in the wine. Freeze for at least 24 hours.
A few hours before drinking: Mix together the white wine and a half cup of liquor in a large pitcher. Taste and see if you want to add more liquor, up to a cup total. Stir in the seltzer or soda. Dump in all the fruit except the cherry cubes. Give it another stir, and let sit for a few hours.
Right before serving, taste again and if you want it sweeter some super fine sugar, a few teaspoons at a time (or if you happen to have some simple syrup on hand, please do use that).Â Depending on the liquor you use, it may not need any sweetening.
To serve: Ladle the sangria into glasses. At the very last moment before handing it to your guest, pop a cherry cube and a plain wine cube or two into the top of the glass.
Now sit back and watch your guests ooh and ah at the fireworks you made!
Serves 4-6 Patriots.