MANILA, Philippines – If you must concoct just one drink this summer, make it sangria!
Sangria is one of my favorite libations. Fruity and tasty while being refreshing, it’s easy to drink and something about it turns any occasion—or non-occasion—festive.
A classic sangria is a combination of red wine, fruit, a sweetener and additional liquor to really drive home the point, but there’s a lot of room to play around here. Pretty much any color wine works. If a fruit can hold its shape, you could probably put it in sangria. Sweeteners of all kinds and forms—artificial? syrup? soda?—are a go. As for the additional liquor, you can take your pick from the mythical rum that turns into plastic all the way to fancy champagne. And those are just the basics. A little daring and adventure, and you’ll find the perfect blend for you in no time, if you can choose at all.
It’s hard to decide what kind to make because there are so many ways a sangria can go. I decided to keep it simple and finally settled on a white lychee sangria. This recipe doesn’t stray much from the basics, and all you’ll need are just a handful of ingredients—perfect if you’re a sangria newcomer.
1 750 mL bottle white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
2 tablespoon sugar
1 can of lychees in syrup
½ cup spiced rum (like Captain Morgan)
1 can Sprite
1. Drain the lychees with a strainer and set aside. Slice the orange and lemon into thin rounds and transfer into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, and mash down with a spoon. In bartender-speak, this is called “muddling”, a process that helps release flavor.
2. Mix white wine into the mixture in the bowl. I’m no wine expert, and my choice for this sangria was based purely on what I enjoy drinking myself, either a Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. I don’t like my white wine too sweet or too dry, but if I had to choose one for sangria, I’d probably go with the dry .
3. Add lychees and rum.
4. Stir well, then cover the mixing bowl with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 24 hours. When ready to serve, strain the sangria into a pitcher and stir in a can of Sprite. Stir the strained-out lychees back into the pitcher.
It’s always exciting for me when I have something sitting in the fridge for an extended period of time. To celebrate, I invited a friend over to hang out by the pool to enjoy my sangria.
You won’t taste a lot of alcohol with your first sip but instead get a mild citrusy wine. You’ll also get a light sweetness and fizz from the Sprite. But once you take a lychee into your mouth, a lychee that’s swollen with wine and rum, you’ll get a pretty potent hit of alcohol. They taste like naughty fruit bombs.
There’s barely a trace of the spiced rum, something that I was looking forward to, so feel free to double yours. As for the sangria, there will certainly be thirds and fourths.
Welcome to the wonderful world of sangria. Enjoy. – Rappler.com
Sam Oh is a professional TV and events host, radio jock, and foodie wannabe. Catch her on radio at 99.5 PlayFM, Monday to Friday, 6am-10am in “The Playground” with Tim Yap and Nikko. She is also a food blogger at Sam Likes It Hot. If you have questions or recipe requests, email email@example.com with subject heading SAM LIKES IT HOT.