4th of July Spanish Style: Sangria

Some people want to be known for the stellar potato salad they bring to the party. Other the recipe guarded pie passed down generation to generation. I want to be known for my sangria.

I first had sangria last summer and was blown away. How had I not known of this delicious wine punch that has fruit floating around that gets you more drunk than the wine? So when I needed a girly slumber party last week, we didn’t resort to juice boxes of our yester years. Instead, I put together a big-ass-bowl of my favorite antioxidant rich drink *wink, wink*

I’m all for good wine, but I love the fact that pretty much every sangria recipe calls for cheap wine. Hello sweet merriment, see you soon slightly worse than usual hangover. However, the payoff is the fun night you’ve had with friends, because I don’t think anyone can get angry over a bowl on sangria! Watermelon vodka is a whole ‘nother ball game.

The good thing about sangria is there is lots of wiggle room for creativity.  Think of the fruits you want swimming around in the bowl. People traditionally slice up some apples and oranges. First off: I don’t have time to slice and dice apples and oranges. Second: I absolutely hate suck-chewing on an orange slice, so I wasn’t going to subject my guests to such savagery and possible dribbleage, so I went with fresh strawberries (which are much easier to cut uniformly) and frozen peaches. Grab your punch bowl (I got mine at Goodwill along with a million little punch cups for $4.99—sadly no discount anymore)  and start layering in the fruit. Next, grab the wine and slowly pour it in, taking care not to slosh everything. Sangria isn’t just wine and fruit. You actually need to spike it with a little bit of brandy  (I learned this the embarrassing way when my mom balked at the hard-liqourless sangria I had been drinking last summer.) Since I’m not a huge brandy drinker, I saw no point in buying a bottle, so I went with some nips (the little ones you would get on an airplane.) Then add in ½ a cup (depending on how much wine you use…eyeball it) of a soda like Sprite or Seven UP, 2 spoonfuls of sugar, and mix around. I didn’t make it ahead of time, but ideally you should let the sangria sit for awhile, which makes for some potent fruit. However, I also heard that you shouldn’t let the citrus sit for long because it can leave a bitter flavor (all the more reason to go the berry route.)

Only the finest

The fridge only kind of smelled like a winery

One thing to think about with sangria is transportation. In case you don’t know, liquid is, like, really heavy. Really, really heavy. I cannot stress it enough. That seemingly innocent punch bowl was a workout in disguise. Even if your friend lives only a block away, you probably will have to stop every few feet to give your arms a rest. And being driven with a bowl on your lap will lead even the staunchest atheist to start praying to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So plan ahead to ensure a potent brew and stain-free clothes. My first batch didn’t kill anyone, and I’m excited to improve over time!

On the East Coast it still isn’t noon, so why not run out to the store, grab yourself a jug of wine, and make a last minute batch for this evening’s festivities?! It’s not as patriotic as Bud Light, but I personally think it gets the job done a lot better.

Peel Away (and be safe) ❤

Jocellyn

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