One Perfect Sangria

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A couple of Fridays ago, my daughter Ally and I spent a nice late afternoon at Balboa Park.  We went to the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center to see “Cosmic Collisions” at the Imax theater.  It was about 3:45pm when the film was over and, unbeknownst to us, all of the museums in the park close at 4:00, so we didn’t really have time to do much else.  But what we did discover is that after the museums close, most of the crowds leave and the Park is quiet and peaceful, with just a few neighborhood people jogging, walking their dogs & kids and pushing strollers. We sat by the Lilly Pond and listened to a classical guitarist play.  It was lovely.

me & Al

Ally and me

We ended the day with a visit to nearby Spanish restaurant for their Tapas Happy Hour.  It was a wonderful ending to what was already a wonderful day. The tapas were great and so, of course, was the sangria. (Did I mention that I love sangria?)  But all it did was whet my appetite for sangria and a few nights later, I had the hankering to make some. I had a recipe that someone had given me years and years ago.  It was copied from an old Spanish cookbook.  But I couldn’t find it.  So I went to my “go to” source Smitten Kitchen.  Of course she had a recipe.  In fact, she had a post called “two classic sangrias”.  I sort of pulled ingredients from both and merged them into what I believe to be one perfect sangria.

One Perfect Sangria

adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s “two classic sangrias”


1 bottle dry red wine (Spanish preferred, a garnacha is good, but whatever red wine is your favorite)

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup brandy

1/4 cup Triple Sec or other orange liqueur (I used Cointreau…whoa!)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

12 ounces sparkling fruit soda (I used a can of Hansen’s Natural grapefruit, but orange or lime or lemon would be good too)

1 each orange, lemon and lime, washed and then sliced thinly

Combination of any other fruit you have on hand, washed and chopped into smallish chunks (I used a green apple, a red pear, a few strawberries and a few blueberries because that’s what I had in the fridge)


In a large pitcher, mix the wine, sugar, brandy, liqueur and orange juice.  Add the fruit and let sit in the fridge until needed.  Right before serving, stir in the sparkling soda.  Fill glasses with ice and pour sangria over. Use a slotted spoon to retrieve some of the fruit from the pitcher and spoon some into each glass.