At the risk of causing disappointment, I have to break it to you: according to Spanish people I’ve known, there isn’t really any single authentic recipe for Sangria. There also isn’t, to my knowledge, a recipe everyone loves.
There are some basic guidelines that have evolved over the years, but Sangria is really just a form of punch. Like most punches, it’s less about the flavor and nuance than it is about getting people drunk quickly and cheaply. It’s traditionally made from whatever cheap leftover wine and fruit you have that’s about to go bad, and it relies on ingredients like sugar and cinnamon to make it taste good.
By the way, the Sangria is really a party drink, and not really designed to be ordered in a bar. Making up a batch of this punch and sharing it with friends is the best way to enjoy Sangria.
- Bottle of cheap dry red table wine (Rioja works well)
- 1 cup of white rum, whiskey or orange brandy
- 1/4 cup sugar (you can use table sugar, but a turbinado sugar ground up fine has more flavor)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange, sliced thin
- 1 lemon, sliced thin
- 1 mango, sliced thin
- Optional: up to 16 ounces of club soda or 7-up
Notes: some recipes leave out some or all of the fruit and add triple sec or orange juice. Others don’t include cinnamon sticks, but cinnamon can help “marry” any ingredients that aren’t getting along too well. Fruits can vary: apples are a good addition/replacement. Some people add other spices, like nutmeg.
Instructions: Mix the ingredients up well in a big pitcher or container. Let it stand in the fridge for 24 hours for best results. Serve it within about three days of when you made it. In theory, it should stay okay up to a week, but in practice I wouldn’t make it more than a day ahead of when I’m planning to serve it. Serve it over ice.
Feel free to tinker with the recipe and fine-tune it to what you like.