Sangria is probably the most famous, and the most popular, wine cocktail in the world. There are many ways to make a good Sangria, but, however you make it, you will need a way to store and distribute it to the rest of the party, and why not do that from a glass beverage dispenser that everyone will talk about?
When speaking about Sangria, people use the term ‘’traditionally’’ quite loosely, as there is the American tradition of making Sangria that looks and has a consistency of Hawaiian Punch, and there is the European, mainly Spanish, tradition of making a wine based cocktail that is very sweet and very alcoholic, and which often has quite a bit of pulp inside. Honestly, there aren’t any strict traditions when it comes to Sangria except it being a fun summer drink, which is usually served at parties.
This being said, the Spanish and the Portuguese don’t take their Sangria lightly, as there is a law protecting it in the European Union, only allowing Sangria from these countries to be called that way. There is also a specified alcohol level and ingredients that, by EU law, can and cannot be inside an official Sangria. This doesn’t really apply to the US, but it is good to know that officially, the Sangria you make at home is no less original than the one made by large producers who make the Golden State Sangria in California.
The primary misconception about this beverage is that it is specific. People who buy Sangria in the supermarket are purchasing a finished product that doesn’t have any other names placed on and believe that that should be it, but Sangria is primarily a wine based cocktail and, like any cocktail, could be made in as many ways as there are wine lovers. As long as it has fruit and red wine, it is technically a Sangria, but even the ones with white wine are not banned from carrying that name.
The second biggest misconception is that you should only use cheap, table wine to make Sangria, as it ruins the taste. This is as far from the truth as possible. While you might like a variety of wine in a Sangria that you don’t prefer to drink neat, and vice versa, the better the wine you use, the better the Sangria will be. As you may know, there is no such thing what a good wine wouldn’t make better, and this is true in this case as well.
Supermarket Sangria vs. Homemade Sangria
In the age of modern technology and specialization, few things are objectively better to make yourself than to ask a person paid to do it. This wine mix is not one of those things, as making Sangria yourself will, in the overwhelming number of cases, make the cocktail better and more flavorful.
Two aspects part the homemade Sangria from the supermarket one, volume, and content. These two aspects are, coincidentally, the most important ones when it comes to both the beverage itself, and the party it is aiming to start. Sangria bought from wine shops and supermarkets will usually be in a bottle (or a box) and will have only a little if any, fruit pulp. This is not irrational, as bottles are the preferred way to store and ship wine drinks, and the fruit pulp is much more perishable than the wine itself, making it more expensive to put in. Commercial types also usually have just a little bit of preservatives, which sometimes makes the end result blander than the home variety.
At home, you don’t have these disadvantages, and thus you can make huge batches of Sangria, with fresh fruit and whichever spices you want inside. Additionally, you can make your dispenser very presentable by using a glass beverage dispenser that may be used as a centerpiece of your party. The place where the alcohol comes from is, either way, the focus point of most parties, so why not give your guests something to admire while they wait to fill their glasses.
The Amethya Glass Beverage Dispenser
The Amethya glass beverage dispenser is the knockout answer to all of the sangria punch bowls on the market, as it is probably the most beautiful vessel in which to make Sangria. It is a fairly large one-gallon mason jar with and added spigot on the bottom which will be the preferred way to drink the liquid parts of the beverage. Once the drink is gone, you can open the wide lid and take out the wine-infused fruits as a snack. Don’t overdo on the fruit though, as the sugar will conceal the alcohol levels, and you can get drunk very easily.
The Glass beverage dispenser itself is made from very thick and durable glass, and it is unlikely to crack or break from anything less than dropping it directly to the floor. A tin lid comes with the jar as to close the top off once the brewing is finished, as to protect it from any insects or flying particles like dirt.
The mason jar is easy to clean, even though it would be a hard fit into the dishwasher. The whole thing should be rinsed a few times after use and then filled up with clean water. Run half a gallon of water through the spigot, and it will be clean.
Overall, the Amethya glass beverage dispenser is a great idea for a pool party centerpiece, especially when it is filled with good homemade Sangria and colorful fresh fruit.
How to Make Homemade Sangria?
While it is true that you can make homemade Sangria whichever way you want, there are some basic steps to follow, and not all wines are suitable for the best taste. Once you have mastered the basics you can experiment as to figure out what would be the best way to make the cocktail just to your liking, or to the taste of your friends.
Before you start, you will need all of your equipment and ingredients. As we will be using the Amethya mason jar as the container, you will be preparing three bottles, or about 76 ounces, of dry red wine, meaning that all other ingredients will be scaled to that amount.
First, prepare the place in your fridge. A wine fridge will be too small, and you will need a place to chill both the jar and the wine. You will probably need to remove a refrigerator drawer as to fit the beverage dispenser. Place your wine bottles in the fridge to chill right away.
Next, prepare the rest. Take three lemons, three limes, and two pounds of oranges. You will also need 3 cups of white sugar, as well as any hard liquor you would want to spice the Sangria with. Whichever booze you chose, about 3 cups would be enough.
If you want everything to be firmer and to give you more time to work, you may wish to pre-chill the fruit as well.
- Adding Fruit
Chop the lemons and limes into circles and throw them into the mason jar. There is no need to arrange them in any specific way, as they will be stirred in the end, but try for the limes and lemons to be mixed.
Take out three oranges and do the same. No need to peel them, just throw them over the limes and lemons. Finally, make fresh orange juice from the rest of the lemons and pour it in. It should amount to somewhere around 3 cups, but anything between 2 and 4 is okay.
- Spice it up!
In the jar, now half filled with fruit, add your 3 cups of sugar. Over the sugar, you should add the hard liquor of your choosing. The traditional option is rum, with dry rum working especially well, but if you prefer curacao or vermouth, these could also work quite nicely. Anything sweet can be of use, with rum giving the traditional Sangria taste.
Pour the 3 cups over everything and mix for a few moments.
When done, place the whole jar inside a fridge until it is ready to serve.
- Wine Choices
There are really a lot of choices when it comes to wine for sangria, and they all depend on what are you trying to get. The best results are with dry red wine, and if you are trying to get that traditional Hispanic taste, you should pick a delicious Spanish wine, such as Tempranillo.
Another good option is the Italian Tormaresca from the region of Apulia, that has a somewhat similar note as the Spanish wines.
If you are not in the mood for hunting, selecting a good Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Sangiovese from your local wine boutique should make for a good fit.
- Best Served Cold
Until the very end, it is best to keep the wine and the jar separate. This will prevent the wine from oxidizing and make it much easier to carry the glass container to the location from where it will be emptied into cups and glasses.
Chilling the wine and the fruit mix separately will also make sure that it is chilled entirely, as there is a larger surface area to volume ratio.
Once the party is starting, bring everything out of refrigeration and mix it up. Steer the whole mix with a wooden tool, ideally a spoon that you will later use to take out the fruits. After about a minute of mixing, your Sangria will be ready, and you can use the stainless steel metal spigot to start distributing your achievement to your friends.
Risks to Consider
There are two significant risks to consider when making Sangria this way, and both are primarily practical. First of all, make sure that you can carry the large jar easily, as it doesn’t have any handles. A full jar may weight over ten pounds, and it can be quite slippery when it starts to sweat. Make sure that you are placing the glass jar on a surface that is both durable and not slippery. Rubber would be the optimal choice, but if it’s a glass table, make sure that it is at least hammered glass.
The second significant risk is contamination, as you will be working with a lot of fruit and sugar. You will need to be certain that everything is clean and that the fruit is fresh, as bacteria can spread very quickly in these sorts of environments. Organic fruit is better than non-organic, as there are fewer pesticides inside.
In the end, there is no reason why you shouldn’t host outdoor parties, serving your friends what will probably become their favorite drinks. Making Sangria at home is easy and quick, and you can always make it just to your liking.
And, if you are using the Amethya drink dispenser, you will also ensure that everyone will see your masterpiece, including the colorful fruits bobbling inside. Unless you overdo with the Sangria, your every party would be a party to remember.