Sangria Syrup Base and Finished Drink Recipe
Originally published on my A Travel for Taste blog on September 16, 2015 (and a few years before that, too!)
Tipping my hat to the upcoming Cinco de Mayo fiesta: this week, sangria! (Ok, I know sangria is Spanish and Cinco de Mayo is Mexican, but Spain is related to Mexico, and, besides, this drink is a hit no matter what theme you are going for!)
After the Romans planted Spain with all sorts of grapevines, the Spanish people, when they weren’t supplying the Romans with wine, used some of it to come up with this wine punch. Thank you, Spaniards! Technically, sangria means red wine punch in Spanish, but you can make it with white wine, too. In that case, it’s technically sangria blanco, or white red wine punch. Whatever; it’s marvelous.
There are thousands of versions, but this is by far my favorite. It requires you to cook up a citrus syrup to use as a base which you then chill and add to red wine, additional citrus and other goodies.
My recipe isn’t one of those fou-fou, whip-it-up-in-a-glass-at-the-party drinks. That’s not how I roll. It requires forethought and planning, but the good news is that the syrup keeps in the fridge indefinitely. Therefore, you can make it well in advance of a party, and one batch, if your friends aren’t total lushes, will supply you for multiple occasions.
I don’t add brandy to this sangria, although many people like it that way. To me it goes down better with just the wine. But whatever you want.
You can also add any other fresh, summer fruit, such as berries or apple slices, in addition to the citrus. Add it to the pitcher after the sangria is made. That reminds me, use a beautiful glass pitcher to let the fruit show through and be a part of your party decorations.
Sangria (Base Syrup and Finished Mixed Drink)
- 2 limes
- 4 large oranges
- 5 lemons
- 2 quarts water
- 3 pounds sugar (6 3/4 cups)
- 1 bottle 750ml good quality red or white wine
- 2/3 cup sangria base
- 1/2 cup sparkling water
- 3-4 cups ice cubes
- 1 large orange sliced
- 1 lemon sliced
- 1 lime sliced
- Wash the fruit and rinse thoroughly. You will be using the entire fruit, including the rinds, so make sure labels are removed and any residue such as wax are completely removed.
- Heat the water in a large pot to a slow boil.
- Add sugar to water and stir until it dissolves.
- Cut up the limes, two of the oranges and three of the lemons. Simmer for 30 minutes until syrupy.
- Remove pot from heat. Mash and squeeze the remaining fruit into the hot mixture. Let stand til cool.
- Seal in glass jars then chill in the refrigerator until use. It will keep indefinitely.
- Chill all ingredients: syrup base, wine, fruit and sparkling water.
- Combine everything in a pitcher and serve in wine glasses over additional ice. Garnish with extra orange slices on the rim of the glasses.