My favorite thing about sangria, the Spanish punch, isn't actually the wine or spirits; it's the luscious assortment of fruit that gets ladled into each glass. I love how refreshing it is to sip, and munch, on a warm day! I really missed sangria when I was pregnant with my 2 girls so I developed this non-alcoholic version and discovered that I like it just as much as the real thing.
There are thousands of recipes for sangria, each using a different combination of wine and fruit, so I don't worry too much about whether this one is "authentic." For the fruit, I like to use the ample supply of citrus in my local markets and gardens – thin slices of oranges, lemons, limes – plus an apple for crunch. You could also try fresh fruits, like strawberries, pineapple, or grapes. When steeped for several hours, the fruits both flavor the drink and soak up the liquid, turning plump and juicy. They not only look pretty in the glass, but are a delight to eat.
The liquid is a combination of cranberry and grape juice which approximate the sweetness, acidity, and tannins of red wine. It's a beautiful substitute both flavor- and color-wise, although caffeine does of course have a more stimulating effect than wine. I also include a little fresh orange juice and lemon juice for sweetness. Just before serving, the drink is lightly carbonated, and the result is a punch suitable for young and old, drinkers and non-drinkers, mealtimes and parties.
Servings 8 Units US
4 cups cranberry-grape juice
1 cup orange juice
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 pear, diced
1 apple, diced
3 cups carbonated lemon-lime beverage
In a large pitcher, combine cranberry-grape juice, orange juice, fresh lemon juice, diced pear, and diced apple.
Refrigerate for a least 2 hours.
Just before serving, stir in the lemon-lime soda and some ice.
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