My friend Andrea is many things — an incredible picture editor & producer, a talented writer and thoughtful in every facet of her life. Add to that list: expert sangria maker. We interned together in South Texas and spent almost every Thursday morning making a batch of sangria to sip that evening. This was our routine and it became a staple to us during our internship. We'd get off work, relax in our tiny apartment, stuffed on our couch under the same blanket. Dinner plates in our laps and wine glasses in our hands while we watched The Walking Dead on her computer — stress from the day no longer in our minds.
When I asked Andrea if she had any special memories from our sangria nights, she jokingly told me that part of why that sangria was such a godsend is that it was very effective at erasing unwanted memories — this is VERY true. So, of course I took her recipe with me when I left the internship and it has followed me with every move since. (Just in different variations.) Sometimes with pears instead of apples or with a little *extra* brandy or triple sec. I also love that Andrea calls sangria "the chicken soup of cocktails" because it's so versatile and can be made with many different ingredients around your kitchen. (I believe that each variation has a special comfort factor!)
The key, in my opinion, to tasty sangria is not skimping on the wine or the triple sec that you use. To me, bad wine with the wrong flavor can stick to your palate and keep you from experiencing the other flavors in the drink fully. For the wine, I used the Sophia Coppola Red Wine. I'd never bought or tasted it before, but did a little research while in the store (trusty and handy google!) and read this description — "Sophia Red offers delightful aromas of red cherries, pomegranate, and tea leaves, with an alluring touch of tangerine. Soft and plush on the palate while having a light, graceful balance, there are bright flavors of plums and boysenberries, aromatic spices, and a hint of bergamot and cardamom." (I was sold, not to mention the bottle is gorgeous!)
These directions are pretty simple, just mix it all together and let chill for at least an hour — but know that chilling all day will only make your mix better. You can substitute the apples and blackberries for other fruits. Make the sangria to your taste. If you want more wine — I'll never tell you no! If you want more citrus, throw in a splash of orange juice. Consider this recipe a jumping off point and then get adventurous!