As the saying goes: necessity is the mother of invention. I feel like there are millions of ways to prove this old adage true, but none more true than the desperate moment when a friend approaches you at your own party and says, with a grave look in his eye, “You’re out of punch.” This happened. This is a true story. And he was right, the punch bowl was dry. Immediately we set to work, tipsy ourselves, and crafted a delicious drink primarily from two seemingly disparate ingredients: whiskey and red wine.
Stay with me. It was delicious, I promise.
Now, since that particular December evening (it was at last year’s annual Holiday Open House), I have thought about that sweet, tart, potent drink many times. Like most delicious things, perhaps more so than many, drinks can easily adapt to suit the season or what you have on hand. In this case, that made up punch has since been transformed into an ice cold summer drink full of boozy fruit and optional bubbles.
All sangrias seem to start the same way: fruits soaked in spirits or liqueurs (or both) and topped up with wine. I posted a White Wine Sangria a while back which follows the same principle and is just as delicious, but depending on what you want, red or white, either of these will do the trick. Or be like me and make both!
Personal opinion: you can’t have too much fruit in there! The fruit is the already delicious sponge that then sops up the flavour and bite from the spirit you’ve chosen. Drown all of that in an easy-drinking wine and float in some ice.
It couldn’t be easier.
Stir, pour, just add summer.
Red Wine Whiskey Sangria
Potent, but easy to drink, not too sweet and full of the season’s best berries, this Red Wine Whiskey Sangria is a great summer tipple.
1 bottle light bodied red wine, such as a beaujolais or an easy drinking pinot noir
1 Cup whiskey such as Canadian Club, Crown Royal, etc.
¼ Cup Cointreau
1 lb mixed berries and stone fruits (such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, plums)
In a large pitcher, soak the fruit in the Cointreau and whiskey for minimum one hour. Top up with wine. Serve cold, over ice. For a lighter flavour, add sparkling water.