Every summer, without fail, that first blisteringly hot and sticky Maryland afternoon, all I want is a pitcher of sangria.
I know. Don’t freak out, even I’ve had to learn to embrace this habit wholeheartedly (unlike my affection for tequila, which I normally keep on the down low). Critics and hard-core wine snobs may declare it a bastardization of wine itself, but when it comes right down to it, heavy red wine is not pleasurable to drink on a 95+ degree day. It just isn’t. And the goal of the perfect party drink is to deliver a pleasurable (and often alcohol-rich) experience to the consumer, is it not? So while sangria may possess little finesse, there certainly is much enjoyment and that’s what I’m usually after. So let’s break this down two ways, one classic red sangria and one for those who, like me, are abstaining from alcohol this summer and must make do traipsing up and down the stairs to the basement to get ice out of the only freezer we have, a habit that will become increasingly precarious as I grow in girth courtesy of this pregnancy.
Sangria breaks down to a simple formula: wine, fruit, booze, and some kind of sweetener if you so desire. Don’t over think it, remember that what you’re trying to provide is, in fact, the best party beverage ever, and should therefore induce pleasure not only from that frosty, fruit-filled glass, but also in the process of its creation. So take a deep breath. Enjoy.