Not that there's ever a bad time for sangria, but sunny days and warmer temperatures mean that you might want to perk up your wine with some fruit, brandy, and other delicious sweetness. We asked three Valley restaurants to give up their amazing in house sangria recipes and tips (Did you know you can add vanilla?) to ensure your next patio get-together includes the best sangria.
Chef Mel Mecinas at the Four Seasons in North Scottsdale notes that that the fruit you use should be very ripe. It gives a great flavor to the sangria. A bit of bruising is not bad and he recommends you visit farmers markets for the freshest ingredients, and to mix it up based on what is in season. See his recipe for "Southwest Sangria" and other recipes after the jump. You may want to find a whisk and a pitcher quickly.
From the kitchen of Executive Chef Mel Mecinas: Southwest Sangria
1 mango, peeled and diced 1 tangerine, peeled and sectioned 4 strawberries, sliced 1 cup Mexican papaya, diced 1 cup pineapple, diced 1 cup honeydew melon, diced ½ cup Captain Morgan Rum 1 cup Absolut Citron ½ 750 ml bottle Riesling ½ 750 ml bottle Pinot Noir
Method: Combine fruit in a large bowl. Cover with rum and vodka; let mixture macerate in refrigerator overnight. Pour mixture into a large pitcher and add red and white wine; chill and serve.
The next recipe is from LGO Hospitality. They noted that this white sangria, while rare on most menus, is one of the more popular drinks they serve.
2 bottles of Pinot Grigio white wine 1 1/3 c. Fresh squeezed Orange Juice ½ c. Triple Sec ¼ c. Presidente Brandy ½ c. Sugar 1 tsp. Tahitian Vanilla Bean Extract One and a half Oranges (sliced) Half a Lemon (sliced) Half an Apple (sliced) Large bunch of Grapes (off the stem)
Method: With a wire whisk, mix sugar, orange juice, triple sec, brandy, and wine in pitcher and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Add Tahitian vanilla bean extract and mix well. Add fruit to pitcher. Serve over ice with fruit slices as garnish.
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Finally, this recipe comes from BLD in Chandler. They make their sangria at least one day in advance to let the flavors meld.
1 750ml bottle wine (red or white) 3oz brandy 2oz simple syrup 1 each apple, orange, pear -- cubed ½ pineapple, cubed
Method: Pour over ice and top with club soda to serve, garnished with an orange slice and cherry.