At many parties, I wind up being the bartender but in the last few years, I tend to plan ahead and serve up one or two concoctions leaving me free to enjoy the party.
One year I made what is now my semi-famous Christmas Sangria, aka my XXXmas Sangria (triple X for triple alcohol!). I did some research and figured out most sangrias use soda water or a lemon lime soda to round out the brew.
I use sparkling cider which gives my sangria a nice fizz and doesn’t dilute the fruit flavor of the wine too much. I particularly like using pom or cranberry flavored sparkling ciders.
Here’s the basic recipe for 4 pitchers:
- wine- Spanish reds like rioja (4 bottles)
- Captain Morgan’s spiced rum
- citrus vodka
- brown sugar
- Trader Joe’s sparkling pom or cran cider (4 bottles, blueberry and apple are also acceptable)
- frozen berries (used Wild Maine blueberries)
- 4 d’anjou pears
- 5 apples (used Gala apples but any crisp firm apples will work)
- 2 dozen small Clementines
- lemon juice to keep apples white
- cinnamon sticks (2 per pitcher as well as 1 per person’s cup)
- Amarena cherries (wild Italian cherries in Amarena syrup)
Soak the frozen berries in citrus vodka and brown sugar for about a week prior to making sangria.
Dice the Clementines, apples and pears and add to pitcher with wine (1 bottle per pitcher), spiced rum (about a cup, cup and half depending how strong you want it), sparkling cider and cinnamon sticks.
Serve in a cup of ice and garnish with a cinnamon stick and berries and cherries.
I’d recommend letting the sangria chill for at least two hours.
This year, I bought a couple of iced tea jugs to make my sangria in. It was very easy for people to refill their glasses since the jugs have spouts.