Hey, betcha thought this would be made with a white wine based on the title, didn’tcha? Me, too! When I saw the accompanying photo of red, though, I was all the more for it. We’ve done a white sangria before, but red has its virtues as well. Good virtues. Tasty ones. Naughty ones that get you a little, hmm…toasty warm. Which is why we love you, Sangria. Salute!
Oh look, we need three different kinds of alcohol for this sangria! Whatever shall we do? Heh – I think you know. And while it looks like a couple of them are empty, I had just enough left of those for this recipe. It was clearly meant to be!
Peeling the zest off an orange is a pain in my ass…well, we’ll call them muscles. Even with a nice sharp vegetable peeler it’s not the easiest thing. Throw in one that hasn’t see the tender, virginal side of “new” in years and it’s all the more Hey! Let’s see how often this thing just slips over the top of this orange like water on oil!
But give it a go. If you can’t get the zest peeled off in those nice, long strips, who the heck cares, just peel off what you can and throw it in your pitcher. The only thing you don’t want to do is actually zest it with a zester/microplane grater. You’ll be drinking all those tendrils of zest if you do.
Chop up a small army of green apples. We chose golden delicious apples for this. You can do Granny Smith, but you might need to add a little more sugar since their tartness will contribute to an overall tartness in the drink. And red wine is already tart enough.
What you do first with this recipe is make a base that sits on the counter for at least an hour. Feel free to do this ahead of time, even to the point of overnight, covered in the fridge.
Fresh-squeezed orange juice. It’s not that much, so it really is a good idea to use fresh this time. Might as well after torturing all that zest off of the one!
We were using fairly large navel oranges and needed at least two, if I recall correctly, for the juice. You would need three for the recipe as some would be for garnish and later actually putting in the sangria.
This is apple brandy. And I used up the last of my beloved bottle with this recipe. *sniffle* You don’t have to use apple brandy specifically, but I thought I might as well use what I already had. Apple Brandy, I salute you. You were damn hard to find on the self all those months ago, but you served me and others well. Really well.
Ooooh, Brandy! Sobs. Tears. Slurps. You were indeed a fine girl.
After the brandy we added a little orange liqueur and some sugar. I’m highlighting the sugar here because while it sweetens this sangria base nicely, that sweetness is really diluted by the tartness of the red wine we used, which was an Argentinian malaga variety. If you like your sangria sweet enough to be able to enjoy said sweetness (one guess which I prefer), add a little more. Not a lot, maybe another tablespoon or two. Or three. Four? You be the judge.
Now give that miniature cauldron of pure trouble a good stir. And let it rest and mix and mingle to create an amazingly tasty sangria base. Feel free to taste test. Maybe more than once. Be careful not to pour it into your glass at this point! Trust me, I know firsthand how hard that is.
Congratulations! By this point, (most) of your sangria base has been waiting for at least an hour for the wine. It’s time to finish this amazing drink up!
Oh, Sangria, you are a beautiful thing. I’d count the ways, but counting isn’t likely after a couple of you saucy things. This is such a fabulous sangria. The only thing I’d do differently next time is possibly a little more sugar. This one is a bit heavier in flavor than a white sangria, but it’s still delicious. If you’re a fan of the reds, it’s definitely worth a try.
Green Apple Sangria
from Bon Appetit, March 2013
Prep Time: 20 minutes Resting Time: at least 1 hour Level: Easy Servings: about 6-8 glasses
- 2 green apples (such as Granny Smith), cored, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- Zest of 1 orange, removed in long strips with a vegetable peeler
- 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3/4 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Cointreau or other orange liqueur
- 1 750-ml. bottle Spanish red wine
- 1 cup (about) club soda
- Orange slices
Stir apples, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, brandy, lemon juice, sugar, and Cointreau in a large pitcher to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Sangria base can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.
Add wine to sangria base and stir to combine. Pour sangria over ice, top off with club soda, and garnish with orange slices.
You could probably get away with another kind of apple, but, honestly, the green apples worked great in this and did seem to help nicely in contributing to the flavor.
I did manage to find a Spanish red wine (malaga is only one variety, tempranillo and garnacha are also ones to look out for; garnacha and malaga are supposed to be the sweeter varieties, though this doesn’t mean sweet like a late harvest dessert wine kind of sweet), but if you can’t get one, a favorite bottle of merlot or a cabernet would probably do good as well.