Basic Sangria

Basic Sangria

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh fruit, cut into wedges or thin slices (peaches, plums, nectarines, citrus)
  • 1 bottle red wine (such as Rioja, from Spain)
  • 1 glass liquor, such as brandy
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • Ice, for serving
  • 2 cups lemon-lime soda, lemonade, sparkling lemonade, ginger ale or club soda

Directions

Place fruit into a large bowl or pitcher, reserving fragile fruit (such as berries); add wine, liquor, sugar and cinnamon.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight for more complex flavor. Pour over ice and add fizzy soda and fragile fruit shortly before serving.

Special notes:

To make it spicy: Add a teaspoon or two of your favorite hot sauce and a seeded chile pepper such as a jalapeño. Keep in mind that the longer it lingers, the spicier it becomes.

To boost the fruitiness: Cut fruit into wedges, thin slices or chunks 
to expose the most surface area.

To make it less sweet: Substitute sparkling water or club soda for soda or juice. Add sugar and other sweeteners a bit at a time to avoid going overboard.

A lighter take on sangria: Make yourself the delightful Spanish summer drink known as Tinto de Verano. Combine equal parts red wine and sparkling lemonade or lemon-lime soda. Too sweet? Tame it with sparkling water or club soda. Serve over ice with a slice of lemon for simple summer refreshment.