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During Covid-19, I’ve created some themed celebrations as if we were traveling. My husband’s birthday was no different. I created a trip to Cabo and my husband even wore a sombrero during some FaceTime calls to family. I wore my dress with a chili print. This homemade sangria recipe using fresh squeezed orange juice was a pleasant surprise to my husband and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He hadn’t had any in decades. It was something we often ordered when we dating in the late 70s. I hope you enjoy it as well.
- 4 pounds oranges sliced in half and juiced except for the one you’ll slice
- 1 red apple or green diced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks each 4-inches long
- 1 bottle sweetish red wine Merlot
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup agave syrup or simple syrup
- 2 cups ice cubes
To juice the oranges, first roll them with the palm of your hand on your kitchen counter until the orange feels softer inside. If you don’t have a plastic juicer tool, you can squeeze out what you can and then use the bottom of a sturdy juice glass to press inside the orange to squeeze out the rest.
Add the fresh-squeezed orange juice, sliced orange, diced apple, lemon juice, and cinnamon sticks to a large pitcher.
Pour in the wine and brandy and stir to combine. Add the agave syrup a little at a time and taste before adding more until it reaches your desired sweetness.
If it’s too strong for you, add 2 cups of ice to instantly chill and water down at the same time. (This is what I do, even when chilling overnight.) While you can serve it immediately, for real flavor to develop, cover and refrigerate overnight. This allows the juices of the fruit as well as the cinnamon stick to meld with the liquids, developing a spectacular flavor.
If not thoroughly chilled, serve the sangria over ice. If desired, top off each glass with a little sparkling water, club soda, or tonic water (which is sweet).