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There is a right way to make sangria. It usually involves a dozen or more ingredients and plenty of time.
But when I’m in the mood for something boozy and fruity – often as I’m about to slap something on the grill – taking the time to do it right is an approach that just doesn’t work for me. Because doing it right generally means slicing and chopping plenty of fresh fruit, then sitting around patiently for an hour (some recipes say a day) while the flavors meld.
So over the years I have perfected the wrong way to make sangria, a recipe that makes a deliciously refreshing fruity-winey cocktail by the glass in about two minutes.
And sometimes even that is too much for me. Sometimes I simply fill a glass with red wine, add a tablespoon of sugar, a splash of lime juice and a few ice cubes and call it good. But for those days when you’re willing to do just a bit more, here are my recipes for red and white Wrong-Way Sangria.
With either recipe, if you’d like to cut the sugar a bit, a packet of stevia sweetener works fine.
One note about wine quality: Because this is a by-the-glass recipe, I usually just use whatever wine I happen to have open. And let’s be honest ... I don’t generally have $100 bottles kicking around.
But if you are buying wine specifically for this, follow the same rule as you would for cooking with wine – neither too expensive nor too cheap. I’m usually pretty happy with bottles in the $9 to $14 range. Also, a number of retailers have caught on to the success of Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck (decent wine it sells for a few dollars a bottle). Those work quite nicely for these drinks.