It’s hard to go wrong with Sangria. Sangria is an agreeable drink, soaking up mixers and fruit without prejudice and turning whatever you throw at it into a perfectly mellow drink that you can serve (or drink) by the pitcherful. The name hints at its origins in a jazzed up red wine, but we’ve had fun playing around with white wine sangria and now a rosé. We’re already a week into August, so September and fall are just around the corner. There’s still some time to squeeze in a pitcher or two. – Andrew
Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper
1 Bottle (750 ml) Dry Rosé Wine
1 Cup Pineapple Juice
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
3 oz Bourbon
3 oz Triple Sec (like Cointreau)
Half a Cantaloupe, Diced
Half a Honeydew, Diced
Combine all of the ingredients in a pitcher and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. (This step – letting the flavors merge overnight – is the difference between a mediocre Sangria and an amazing Sangria.) Pour over ice, fruit and all, and enjoy!
We used a dry, oaky rosé so we could sweeten it with fruit and fruit juice without turning the whole thing into a sugary mess. The bourbon was an unusual choice, since most sangrias are fortified by a smooth, mellow brandy, but I wanted to see how it would work paired with the oaky wine. The first taste test left me fearing I had a dud on my hands – it was harsh and muddy, full of clashing flavors. But, I took my own advice and let it sit overnight. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. The flavors married up over night, and the sweet melon mellowed out all the rough edges. The result is light and sweet and summery, with undertones of rich oakiness, and a big silky mouthfeel thanks to the melon. I’m a fan.
I don’t have a grand unified theory of sangrias yet, and I believe that many of the best sangrias are improvised, but there’s a definite rhythm to the best: a big, dry wine, mellowed by seasonal fruit and a dash of citrus, fortified by a dash more of a smooth liquor and a smoother liqueur. I’m wondering now what I could do to a red wine with some lime juice, rum, and falernum… Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper