since the universe screwed our camping trip, we decided to host a sunday funday gathering of football watching, board game playing and chili eating. and i decided i wanted to make a sparkly light sangria, even though it’s out of season and doesn’t necessarily pair well with chili… because champagne + fruit + stuff is the perfect refreshing solution for drabby weather blues.
also, let’s be real, it can be done cheaply. (read: “champagne”) and i like my alcohol with sweetness and fruit.
it also translates well to a fun virgin drink for the nonalcoholics.
in sum, you can’t go wrong. and like my unconventional vinaigrette, this sangria is not traditional. it’s also pretty inexact. but it’s good and pretty. and pretty is good.
sparkling white sangria
makes half a pitcher, which is approximately enough for three heavy drinkers or 6-8 normal people
what you need:
- a bottle of cheap bubbly sparkling white wine (also known as champagne, except that “champagne” can technically only be used to describe sparkling white wine from the champagne region of france. i know way too much about this.) honestly, the one i got was about $5. my personal opinion is, the cheaper the better, because you’re just going to doctor it up anyway.
- half of a 2 liter bottle of ginger ale (again, i went cheap and got the generic bottle of W soda for a cool $.97)
- one apple
- one orange
- two limes
- two lemons
- a fistful of grapes
- a generous sprinkling of sugar (it was probably about 1/4 cup) or simple syrup (honestly, simple syrup is ideal here, but ain’t nobody got time for that**)
- 2 oz (or a couple glugs) of orange liqueur (i used patron orange because it was cheaper than gran marnier and cointreau… noticing a trend here?)
what you do:
chop up all your fruit. don’t chop your apples ahead of time unless you liberally lemon-juice them or store them soaked in liqueur so they don’t brown. i sliced my citrus, then halved or quartered the slices. i halved the grapes length-wise to discourage choking. (optional: cover the fruit in liqueur and soak it for a while.)
mix your sugar into your liqueur and stir vigorously. i tried to do this to reduce graininess. it worked, sort of.
put all the chopped up fruit in your pitcher. pour the liqueur in, followed by the entire bottle of bubbly. add your ginger ale.
give everything a gentle stir, but don’t stir out all the bubbles.
serve in pretty glasses and don’t forget to scoop in some of the fruit. add ice if you wish.
*alternatively, mix all the unsoaked fruit with ginger ale and don’t get crunk.
**simple syrup addendum: after viewing my “aint nobody got time for that” statement, @staceyviera from everyfoodfits was quick to point out that the simple syrup is actually simple–and key–and to suggest otherwise is blasphemously misguided. further, @vascofflaw from scofflaw’s den shared with us his simple syrup formula of choice… and so, in sum, it seems, that i actually do got time for that and simple syrup can also keep for a few weeks which makes it less of a pain in the butt if you decide to concoct other things in that span of time. so here’s my interpretation of spinning off stacey’s methodology with marshall’s formula…
simple syrup, the simplest way
what you need:
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 oz vodka
what you do:
put your water in a glass microwaveable container. microwave on high for 4 minutes… this will get it good and boiling. (alternatively, boil water on the stove.)
pour the sugar into the boiling water. stir until the granules are completely dissolved.
cool and add vodka, then use immediately. or put an airtight lid on your container and store it in fridge. according to one experiment, the vodka and refrigeration could help your simple syrup last for months.
thanks for schooling me, guys.