Need Sangria making advice: what types of fruit to include?
I'm planning to make Sangria for the first time this weekend for a party I'm throwing.
So far - on the list of fruit to include:
oranges (slices with peel? or chunks without)
apples (any particular type taste best?)
lemon slices on top...
What am I forgetting?
*Edit: Making red wine sangria!
I like to try using a fruit that complements the type of brandy that I add to the Sangria. This last time, I added apples and pears to a red Sangria with Calvados. (apple brandy) This was in addition to lemon, lime and orange slices. It worked out really nicely. I think next time I will try it with a White Sangria.
I have also found that I like using Fresca in a pinch instead of sparkling water and sugar. 2 12 oz cans per bottle of wine, and 1/4 cup of brandy
As Ali said and as you found, almost anything goes!
My most recent batch included a bit of OJ; limeaid; a cheap azz, sparkling white wine (Pearl Bay Celebration... sort of drinks like Boone's); fresh cherries, both sweet red and rainier; canned lychees; grapes; strawberries; and yes, a wee bit of cucumber and banana. It may sound foul, but don't knock it 'till you've tried it. :)
Agree on the canned lychees, however i find strawberries get mushy if put in at the beginning, same with bananas.
I also add halved slices or red grapefruit (not bitter). I agree with HillJ's suggestion on frozen grapes (seedless), I also add pear as it holds it crunch and adds texture.
Sometimes add Grand Marnier to add to the orange flavour
Yes, you're right about the banana... I liked the flavor, but didn't like the little bits they disintegrated into, after a while. The strawberries stayed pretty much intact, though!
Good call on the pear.
Honestly, I just use whatever's in the fridge and on sale at my local fruit vendors. I'm sure the particular combination I used this time will probably never come up, again. ;)
I love to use my favorite fragrant fruits, fruit that is intoxicating to smell when its good and ripe. My favorite is a red fruity sangria... the best fruit is, pineapple, Santa Rosa plums, nectarines, and then for citrus, limes and oranges. Cut the fruit, but have enough that you can squeeze juince into the sangria..so good, I like to add a tad bit of mint too, just becauce I love the combination.
Sangria is absurdly forgivable when it comes to fruit usage. You're not "forgetting" any type of fruit (unless you had a list/recipe in mind), and you could even do without one or two of those items.
I tend to steep orange slices (with peel) the last few hours prior to serving sangria, so I keep the peel. Longer than that, I might consider taking off the peel for fear of the pith changing the taste of the sangria. (But then, this comes from orange juice making experience, not sangria.) I think slices look pretty in the serving vessel, but chunks might be easier to dole out to glasses.
As for apples, I like the Pink Lady variety best for sangria. Basically, something firm, with a good sweet/tart balance. Fuji apples might work, too, but I tend to just eat those. Regardless, I'd slice these for optimal surface-mass ratio.
If doing peaches, remember to get freestone ones or else you'll be one very annoyed sangria-maker. Maybe you didn't need the tip, but I certainly didn't remember the first time I tried to use fresh peaches ... let's just say I usually use frozen ones now.
I also like berries in my sangria. (My usual mix will be something like a few types of berries, cherries, and peaches.) I think it works with the wine really well, and since I don't add much sugar, they provide the sweetness.
Easy peasy! Good luck with the sangria!
re: The Oracle
Sorry!! I totally forgot to reply, so it's too late for you to use my recipe, but maybe it can help for a second go around (it is such a summer drink, after all):
1 bottle (750mL) pinot noir
1 bottle cab. sauvignon
1 bottle of brandy (VS is fine, no sense in tossing the XO in here)
1 bag frozen berries
1 bag frozen cherries
1 bag frozen peaches
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (or omit if you choose, I usually do)
Mix and put in fridge overnight (or longer). Before drinking, float a few slice of lemons and oranges in the pitcher and top off with a sparkling beverage of your choosing - I've used anything from soda water to a cheap sparkling wine, which is my current preference.
If you use fresh peaches, use a firmer one that's a sweet but slightly tart. Likewise if you choose to use apples.
I use frozen cherries because I can't be bothered with pitting the suckers, but if you're up to it and can get sweet, sweet cherries, go for it.
The berries: mixed berries is good or toss in a combo of your fav or just one kind - don't use fresh blueberries or anything similar without doing a little muddling, just enough to break through the skins.
As you've probably noted, I'm depending on the fruits to provide the sweetness (hence the sugar being optional), so sub fruits at your choosing but remember to compensate for the sugar levels. I don't like a very sweet sangria, but if you do, add more sugar (or better, honey with a tiny hint of cinnamon).
Hope your sangria went well!! What kind of fruits/what recipe did you end up using?
Thanks everyone for your ideas and suggestions.
The sangria was a HIT! I absolutely loved the finished product. I was more than nervous about how it would turn out....but it was unbelievably easy to put together and the finished product was the best sangria I've ever tasted!
Here's what I did (I'll post for a one bottle batch, but I made 5 bottles worth):
1 (750mL) bottle shiraz-merlot blend
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c brandy
1/4 c triple sec
I dissolved the sugar and wine then added the brandy and triple sec afterwards. I may have used slightly more brandy & triple sec (I think I did 1 1/2 cups each for my 5 bottle batch) - do a quick 'taste' and adjust as desired.
I then cut up fuji apples and nectarines and sliced oranges and lemons. I added all the fruit to the sangria and refrigerated for about 12 hours before serving.
I loved the way the apples tasted... and the oranges and lemons were perfect (I think I did a 2 to 1, orange to lemon ratio). I wasn't too crazy about the way the nectarines tasted (a little too mushy) - but since they likely contributed to the overall taste, I'd add them again in a heartbeat! I had read posts where they said the brandy was overpowering, but it really added a nice taste to the sangria. I can't wait to make it again!
Thanks again for all your help!