When I was in college, I went to Florence, Italy, thanks to my parents who gave me the trip as a gift.  I went into a bar with a friend and saw a glass jar filled with fresh fruit and wine.  Wondering what it was, I ordered a glass and found that it was sangria.  It was so lovely, and after having that glass, I decided I’d remember exactly what was in it and make some when I got back home.  After several tries I came up with what I thought was close to the glass I had in Italy.

I will say that no batch of my sangria is the same.  My friend Breanne and I have tried so many different kinds of fruit and wine combinations.  Don’t ever use bananas!  We found that out the hard way.  Always use oranges and lemons.  I add a firm fruit, like an apple or peach, then some sort of small berry, like blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries.  They add color and are super tasty!

First, cut up your fruit and put it in a container.  Add some sugar, maybe 1/4 or 1/2 cup, (I have also used Splenda instead of sugar in the past, and the results were just as good) then pour brandy and peach schnapps (equal parts) over the fruit and let them macerate for awhile in the refrigerator.  The longer the better, however beware that some fruits absorb more of the alcohol, and they become quite strong!

macerating fruit

Add the fruit and alcohol mixture to a pitcher or jar, then pour red wine over it all.  I have also used white wine and champagne.  Also, you don’t have to use a fine wine.  The only wines you shouldn’t use are actual bottles of wine that say “Sangria.”  These are not good, and you’ve already made the best part of sangria, the fruit!  I personally think that it’s not sangria if there isn’t any fruit in it.

the finished product!

My mother gave me this beautiful jar for Christmas.  I’m sure she imagined that it would hold lemonade or tea, but it is perfect for sangria.  Just pour some in a glass with ice and put a few pieces of fruit in it!  Enjoy!