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Easy Sangria

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Easy Sangria
Sangria is a favorite drink of mine for parties. Sweet and easy to drink, it is versatile and works for just about every occasion. It also happens to be very easy to make. My Easy Sangria is a simple recipe that never lets me down – and I pretty much always have ingredients to make it on hand in my kitchen. Because it takes very little time to put together, it is perfect for entertaining, since it looks (and tastes) impressive but easily fits into any party prep schedule.

Start your sangria with inexpensive red wine. Something like Charles Shaw from Trader Joe’s works perfectly. It doesn’t really matter what the wine tastes like (as long as it isn’t spoiled) because you’re adding fruit juice and sugar to sweeten it up, so any subtleties of the wine itself are pretty much lost by the time you’re doing. I like to go for a cheap Shiraz, as they tend to be bold and fruity and make a good base for sangria in general, although anything will work.

To the wine, you add sugar and fresh orange juice, as well as plenty of chopped of oranges and apples. Stir everything together and your sangria is ready to go. You can drink it right away, but sangria always tastes best when it is well-chilled and the flavors do get even better as the sangria rests in the fridge, so I recommend chilling your batch for at least a couple of hours for the best results. If you want to make it a little bit boozier and highlight the orange even more, you can add in a generous splash of Cointreau to your batch.

I like to keep the pieces of fruit small. They will pick up a lot of the flavor of the sangria and will be very tasty after the drink has sat in the fridge for a few hours. Small pieces are also easier to pour out into individual glasses, which means that everyone will get some delicious “fruit salad” with their sangria.

It is easy to double or even triple this recipe if you need to serve a crowd. A big punch bowl can be a great alternative to a regular pitcher for serving. But I feel that I should emphasize that you don’t need a special occasion to enjoy a smaller batch of sangria. It keeps well in the fridge (and gets better with time), so you can enjoy a glass on a warm weeknight when you just want to unwind without needing to wait for a party to make some!

Easy Sangria
1 bottle inexpensive red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed)
1 tbsp honey
2 oranges
1 large apple
1/4 cup cointreau (optional)

In a large bowl, or a large pitcher, combine wine, sugar, orange juice and honey. Stir well until sugar is dissolved.
Cut the peel off of the oranges and dice them into pieces no larger than 1/2-inch. Add to wine. Peel apple, remove core and dice into pieces no larger than 1/2-inch. Add to wine. Stir in cointreau, if using.
Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Serves 4-6.

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