Spanish or Portuguese Sangria, is why I love summer. Most often it is made with Spanish Rioja’s,which are typically lighter bodied, dry, acidic, and inexpensive. However, there are other wines that work well in this recipe such as French Gamay or Beaujolais, and even Italian wines such as Dolcetto or Bardolino. Unfortunately most of us are familiar with this wine punch labeled blankly on a drink list as “white or red sangria” without much detail on the wines or spirits used. This is due in part to lack luster ingredients on one hand and on the other hand because the sacred recipes of generations past is a “secret”. Since almost anything made at home will be fresher and healthier for you, I seldom order sangria out, unless vacationing in Spain or Portugal then do as the Romans do by all means!
The inspiration for this sangria comes from my sheer adoration of rosé. Surprisingly I have yet to see this grace the menus of restaurants around town, but I’m sure they will catch on soon enough. I chose a bottle of highly acidic rosé from a region in France known as Chinon in the Loire Valley. Loire Valley wines are known for being high in acid with crisp citrus fruit flavors, perfect for sangria. I also skipped sugar in favor of agave syrup to keep it light and I used an apple brandy called Calvados instead of standard brandy with a few dashes of two types of bitters to round out the sweetness. Fresh fruits will be key to this recipe so don’t be afraid to pick different seasonal fruits from your local market or farm stand.
Rosé Sangria with Apple Brandy & Agave
1 bottle french rosé
4 oz Calvados (apple brandy)
1 oz Grand Marnier Cognac
1/2 oz Blood Orange Bitters
1/4 oz Peach Bitters
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 ruby grapefruit, peeled and cut into wedges
1 orange sliced into thin rings
1 lime sliced into thin rings
1/4 cantaloupe cut into chunks
1 granny smith or pink lady apple thinly sliced
1 yellow peach pitted, and thinly sliced or cubed
Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher or large wide mouth jar and stir to combine. (Note: If you can store it in the refrigerator for a few hours or over night the flavors will only intensify.) Pour into a clear glass and top off with a few ice cubes, a splash of sparkling water and garnish with a sprig of mint! However, you can skip the sparkling water which is more traditional of the Spanish & Portuguese sangria… Enjoy!