Sparkling grapefruit sangria is a fruity twist on traditional Spanish sangria. Sangria is typically made with wine, local seasonal fruit and sugar or fruit juice.
Early Greeks and Romans mixed wine with spices and sugar to create concoctions similar to what we know as present day sangria. In Spain, sangria is made with Tempranillo red wine or other wines from Rioja with citrus added to make it sweet and fruity.
Sangria is always served chilled and is typically 12% alcohol by volume.
I learned to make an authentic sangria from villagers in the small frontier town of Conil, Spain. The men of the village would gather in the evening carrying small casks of homemade wine and brandy and earthenware pitchers for mixing the hearty red wine drink. The wine was mixed with a bit of sugar, fresh apple and orange slices, and finally a splash of brandy and sparkling water added the finishing touch. A pitcher of sangria was born.
Sangria is adaptable.We have all had red sangria, white sangria and sangria with different types of fruit such as peaches, nectarines, strawberries and citrus.
My friend Lisa shared this recipe for sparkling grapefruit sangria with me last year for an outdoor garden party. It was the perfect drink for a warm late summer early evening party.
For the sparkling grapefruit sangria, begin by using grapefruit rinds to make a grapefruit simple syrup. You will also need fresh mint to muddle with the syrup to create a sweet and aromatic syrup for this sangria.
I used the French wine based aperitif Lillet for this sangria, but you can also use a dry white wine or even a rose. Strawberries are in season, so I added sliced berries as well as slices of pink grapefruit to the pitcher. The sangria is better if it sits for a few hours or overnight. Add the Prosecco at the end for some sparkle and an additional kick. Extend your imagination and choose wines that you enjoy that are not too sweet, too strong or too expensive and will pair well with the citrus. Salud!