Sangria Tasting Bar: A Trio of Punches

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For most folks I know, the word “sangria” almost always translates into “instant party.” And as with any good party, the more the merrier. Here’s how to set up a sangria tasting bar to infuse a little more fiesta into your Labor Day barbecue.

Sangria is fun to serve and refreshingly yummy to drink. It’s one of the best—and easiest—ways I can think of to enjoy fruit at the peak of the season. (It’s also very forgiving, and can just as happily be made year round with high-quality frozen fruit.)

I love sangria because it gives you the opportunity to really get creative with food and drink pairings. (Have peaches in the sauce for your BBQ pork? Serve peach sangria as a complement.)

Setting up your sangria bar
Laden with gorgeous, drunken fruit, sangria is oh-so-pretty to look at. Use different sized and shaped glass punch bowls, jars, or pitchers to show them off.

Even though the recipes that follow include ice, I always set out a separate bucket or bowl for folks who may want to chill their drink out even more.

Controlling the amount of punch in your punch
Sangria is one of the food world’s juiciest blank canvases. A versatile wine punch, you control the flavors—and how strong it is.

Now, while I definitely appreciate a good, stiff drink, I tend to like my sangria on the tamer side, at least as far as alcohol content goes, so I can have a couple of glasses without getting completely swirly.

Making three sangrias
Here are three recipes I like a lot. If you have the room in your fridge, make them a day ahead for more intense flavor.

Be warned: These recipes are scaled for a thirsty crowd, so you’ll need fairly large containers. If you wind up with leftovers on the flip side, sangria keeps really well in the fridge for at least a few days.

No. 1: Heavenly Peach Sangria

1 Tbls. lemon juice
1 Tbls. lime juice
2 Tbls. honey
1/2 cup peach schnapps
1 750-ml bottle of dry Riesling
1 1/2 cups white cranberry juice
1/2 cup peach nectar
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
2 peaches, pitted and sliced
8-10 raspberries
4-5 cups ice

Whisk the lemon juice, lime juice, peach schnapps, and honey together in a small bowl until the honey is completely dissolved. Add to your pitcher or punch bowl.

Pour in the Riesling, white cranberry juice, and peach nectar. Add the sliced fruit and raspberries. Stir to combine well.

Taste and correct flavorings as needed. (If it’s a little too sweet for you, add a little more Riesling or lemon juice.)

Cover and chill overnight in the fridge. Add ice and serve.

No. 2: Tiki Room Sangria

1 Tbls. superfine bar sugar
4 oz. Cointreau
4 oz. brandy
1 pineapple, peeled and cored
5 black plums, peeled and sliced
1 750-ml. bottle red wine
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 1/2 cup unflavored seltzer
4-5 cups of ice

Whisk the bar sugar, Cointreau, and brandy together in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add to your pitcher or punch bowl.

Slice the pineapple lengthwise into long spears. Add the sliced pineapple and plums to your pitcher or punch bowl.

Pour in the red wine and pineapple juice. Stir to combine well. Taste and correct flavorings as needed. (If you’d like it sweeter, whisk a little more bar sugar in with 2 Tbls. of the sangria to dissolve it. Then add it back to your pitcher or punch bowl and stir to combine.)

Cover and chill in the fridge overnight. To add a little fizz, stir in the seltzer right before serving over ice.

No. 3: Mixed Berry Champagne-gria

1 Tbls. superfine bar sugar
6 oz. raspberry liquor
2 cups strawberries, stemmed, hulled, and sliced
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
2 cups red raspberries
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 750-ml. bottle champagne or Prosecco
1 1/2 cups unflavored seltzer
4-5 cups of ice

Whisk the bar sugar and raspberry liquor together in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add to your pitcher or punch bowl.

Add the strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Squeeze in the lemon. Stir to combine and coat all your fruit.

Cover and chill in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to serve, add the champagne and seltzer. Give a stir to combine. Add the ice and enjoy!

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hey there, I was at an event last weekend and was introduced to a bastardized sangria called "Calimocho". It is simple 1 part cola and 1 part red wine over ice and it is Deeeelicious. Sure, it sounds completely white trash, but give it a try. It tastes much more sophisticated than the ingredients and it is much less sweet than Sangria.
  2. Oh, wow. Yeah that sounds strange--and like it would probably be really good. Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely give it a try and report back. Recipes like that tend to intrigue me in general. I once made fudge that had Velveeta as a main ingredient, just because I couldn't resist the curiosity. It actually wasn't half bad. I'll see if I can dig up the recipe. +Jessie

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