I love to entertain and have people over. I don’t like to spend a lot of money just to be able to visit with friends and family.
One way to save money when you are entertaining is to offer one “house drink” instead of a full bar. I love spiked punches and sangria because they don’t contain all alcohol and you can use the less expensive items to stretch the volume, such as sodas and juices. You can also often get away with a less expensive wine and still have a delicious result without breaking the bank.
For our 4th of July BBQ, I will be making a pitcher of Sangria. I am going to Trader Joe’s today, so I will be picking up 2 bottles of “2 Buck Chuck” for today’s batch of Sangria. I like my Sangria on the sweeter side, so I often make this with both white zinfandel, and either Merlot or Cabernet. However, you can use whatever you like and have on hand.
This is my favorite Sangria recipe. You can modify it to meet your tastes and it scales up for a crowd very easily. I have even been known to add a little more of the soda to get it to stretch just a tiny bit farther and no one has ever been able to tell.
:: Sangria Recipe
3 cups of wine
1 1/2 cups Sprite or 7-up
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 orange thinly sliced
1 lime thinly sliced
1 lemon thinly sliced
1/2 cup brandy – I don’t usually have this on hand, and it is just as good without it
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau
2 tablespoons grenadine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Stir wine, soda and orange juice, 8 lime slices, 8 lemon slices, orange slices, brandy, sugar, Cointreau, grenadine, lemon juice and lime juice in a large pitcher to combine. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Serve in wine glasses garnished with additional citrus slices.