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05.15.2003

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sangria 
sipping 
how to make sangria

by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2

Sure, a cooler full of chilled beer makes a fine accompaniment to those warm-weather cook-outs. But for a change of pace, try mixing up a big olí pitcher of ice-cold, fruity sangria. Sweet, cool and refreshing, this Spanish wine punch makes the perfect accompaniment to grilled goodies, Mediterranean-inspired meals, flavorful finger foods, and more. So kick back on a balmy evening with a couple of pitchers of homemade sangria, a table full of delicious eats, and some good friends, and youíll have the recipe for a perfect evening.

red, red wine
The base of sangria is, of course, wine. But what kind should you use? Rioja or another Spanish red are the obvious choices for authenticity, but basically, any yummy, inexpensive, medium-to-full-bodied red wine will work fine. Thereís not much point in using a really fine red wine for sangria, as youíll be changing the flavor quite bit with all the other ingredient additions, but the wine should still taste good enough to drink on its own. Sangria can also be made with white wine, in which case itís called sangria blanco.

getting fruity
Wine might be the essential base, but itís all that fruity goodness that makes sangria such an eminently quaffable drink. Part of the fun of sangria is that itís so fabulously flexible a recipe. A classic sangria might contain fat slices of tart oranges and lemons, sweet chunks of apple or peach perhaps, but just about any fruit you fancy can be substituted or added to the usual mix. A touch of some sort of citrus is pretty much always a good idea, as the tart flavors are a good balance for the sweetness, but beyond that, go with whateverís cheap, sweet, and in season and you canít go wrong.

oranges, lemons, limes: squeeze out the juice, or slice thinly
peaches, plums: remove the pits and cut the fruit into small chunks
apples, pears: core and cut the fruit into small chunks
strawberries, blackberries: use whole, or slice in half if the fruits are very large

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