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Everyday Food, July/August 2005

This wine punch is just right for summer parties. It's such a crowd-pleaser, you may want to make two batches at a time.

What Is It?
This Spanish drink is basically a blend of wine, fruit, seltzer, and sometimes brandy. There are countless variations; some include fruit-flavored liqueurs; others call for fruit juices. Sangrias are most often made with red wine, but those that are made with white or sparkling wines are very good, too.

Which Wine?
Although sangria was originally made with Rioja wine, you can use just about any dry red wine. Other good choices include Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, and Sangiovese.

Helpful Hints
Chill the bottle of wine thoroughly before using; this will help keep the ice from melting too quickly in the glass and diluting the taste. To allow the flavors to blend, make the punch up to a day ahead of time (and refrigerate), adding seltzer just before serving.

Summer Sangria
4 oranges: 2 juiced, 2 halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1 bottle dry red wine, chilled
2 lemons, thinly sliced
2 cups seltzer or club soda
Chilled ice cubes, for serving

In a large pitcher, combine orange juice, sugar, and brandy; stir well to dissolve sugar. Add wine, orange slices, lemon slices, and seltzer; stir to combine. Fill glasses with ice before serving. Serves 8.

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