Fruity & Boozy
Summers are here, so can Sangria be far behind? Here’s how you can make a refreshing drink with a glass of red or white wine
A sweet and crisp wine infused with fruits and herbs gives this delicious cocktail an edge over any other drink that people would want to sip on in the summers.
Be it for a brunch or a dinner party, a sangria, made of white or red wine, is a drink that everyone wants their goblets to be filled with.
So what makes Sangria the perfect drink for summer? Ranjit Kuanr, bartender, Botanica-The Green House Bar, Hinjawadi, explains that Sangria is basically wine with citrus seasonal fruits soaked in it. “The citrus fruits make the drink refreshing, whereas the alcohol makes it more delightful. Sangria can be enjoyed in the daytime and even at sunset and that’s what makes it a perfect drink for summers,” says Kuanr.
We all know that juicy, water-based fruits help in maintaining the body temperature, keeping us cool naturally. Kabil Singh, F&B executive, Fairfield by Marriott Pune, Kharadi, echoes that and says, “Sangria is a perfectly well blended and balanced drink. It includes lots of fruits which are helpful in regulating body temperature.”
Navin Patrick of Tahelka, Pimple Nilakh, says that the fruits, especially the grape component, increase the water level in the body of the wine.
“The bottomline,” says Kuanr, “is to maintain the balance of fruits and wine. The fruits should not dilute the wine and vice versa.”
Although Sangria has alcohol content, the easiest way to make it refreshing is by keeping it chilled and infused with fruits for a longer time before consuming it.
“One can probably add more fruits in a glass before topping it up with the drink, which will make the drink absolutely fresh and flavourful,” he adds. Singh suggests adding zesty and naturally water-based fruits like oranges, watermelons or even berries.
Chef Deepu Alamchandani, The Barkhana Wakad, informs that to make the best of the red wine, one needs to mix it with pears, oranges and apples. “Merlot is generally fruity and round, with a soft body, mixed with slight vanilla, Assam tea leaves, dried fig and pear. Cabernet Sauvignon is often a bigger wine with aromas of cassis (black currant) and blackberry and the palate is filled with loads of cocoa notes and roasted coffee. Pinot Noir wine, an affordable one, is a lighter choice that will bring upfront fruitiness to your sangria,” says Chef Alamchandani.
He adds that since red Sangria is considered as a strong drink, throw in some extra sugar if you want it more sweet. “If you’re looking for something stronger, add a couple or more servings of liqueur.
Just make sure not to add so much that it covers the taste of the wine,” points out Alamchandani.
Fixing a delightful Sangria depends on the body of the wine, so not all wines can be suitable. Singh says, “Choose wine on the basis of its fruitiness and how dry/wet it makes one’s palate. One can also select a wine on the basis of its food pairing. White wine is preferred with vegetables and chicken.”
Kuanr adds that it is best to avoid consuming sparkling wine in the summer. “Red wine is best had in the winters, which leaves us with the delectable white wine. If you want to cool you reds, add the fruits,” he says. Or as Patrick mentions, “Red wine with merlot grapes are perfect for summers.”
So, settle down with a bottle of red!
- Red/White wine.....180ml
- Vodka.....60 ml
- Lime juice.....60ml
- Simple syrup.....45ml
- Orange juice.....90 ml
- Apple juice.....90 ml
- Apple, chopped.....1
- Orange slice.....1
- Soda to top up
- Mix all the ingredients in a large pitcher and serve
- Recipe by Ranjit Kuanr,
- Bartender, Botanica-The Green House Bar
Basil Watermelon Sangria
- White Wine.....150 ml
- Lemon, freshly squeezed.....1
- Orange juice.....25 ml
- Monin watermelon syrup.....50 ml
- Cold Basil and Lemon Tea Decoction.....60 ml
- Watermelon wedges as required
- Orange peel twist as required
- Basil leaf
- At first, make basil and lemon tea decoction by heating them, resulting in a perfect blend of the flavours. Give it an Ice bath after flavours are properly blended. Ice bath helps the decoction to maintain its aroma and flavours.
- As soon as the decoction is cold, add fresh watermelon juice and a dash of Monin Watermelon Syrup to give it the flavour it needs.
- Add tea decoction with watermelon to a chilled glass of White Wine and gently stir it 5-6 times.
- Add freshly cut orange chunks and some basil leaves into the drink to give it an aesthetic appeal.
- For garnish, cut a watermelon wedge, orange peel twist and a basil leaf and put them all together using a clove. Refreshing Basil Watermelon Sangria is ready to be served.
Recipe by Kabil Singh, F&B executive, Fairfield by Marriott Pune, Kharadi