As I edited these sparkling, hot pink photos, I realized my “Super Bowl” cocktail looks more like a Valentine’s Day cocktail. The big game is tomorrow (find my Super Bowl recipes here) and we’re just around the corner from that horrid holiday, so let’s call it a two-for-one special!
My friends are probably tired of hearing me announce that “Champagne is the new beer,” every time I bring over a bottle for a game, but it’s true. You heard it here first. Sparkling sangria is a fun way to drink it.
I’ve been intimidated by sangria for far too long. It always seemed like some sort of magical potion that only a Spanish woman could properly mix up. Plus, my exhausting analytical side always wants to create the “perfect” recipe and there are so many variables when it comes to sangria. The sweetness and type of fruit, the sweetness and type of wine… Fortunately, I’ve finally learned that sangria is a mix-and-match, do-no-wrong kind of drink, which is just as pitchers of cocktails should be.
This sangria features a few of my favorite things: fresh blood oranges, pomegranate arils and the dry, sparkling rosé that my friend Colleen introduced me to last weekend. Combined with some brandy, they make a killer sangria. It tastes great right away, but for the most fruity flavor, allow a few hours for the fruit to marinate in the blood orange juice/brandy mixture. Wait to pour in the sparkling wine until you’re ready to serve so your bubbly is still bubbly.
- 3 medium to large blood oranges
- Arils (seeds) from 1 pomegranate
- ¼ cup brandy
- ¼ cup simple syrup (more or less to taste), see below
- 1 bottle dry sparkling rosé (or white sparkling wine like Prosecco or Cava)
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar or sugar of choice
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- So here's the deal: You may or may not want to add simple syrup. It will depend on the sweetness of your wine/fruit and your own preferences. I don't have much of a sweet tooth but I still preferred my sangria with ¼ cup simple syrup to balance out the harshness of the brandy. To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sweetener and hot water. Whisk until the sweetener has mixed into the water.
- Juice two of the blood oranges with a citrus juicer (or just squeeze the blood orange halves to extract the juice). Slice the remaining blood orange into thin rounds, then slice them through the middle to create half moons.
- In a pitcher, combine the blood orange juice, blood orange slices, pomegranate arils and brandy. For best flavor, let the fruit marinate in this mixture for a few hours, covered and chilled in the refrigerator. (Don't worry, it'll be great right away if you need it now.)
- When you're ready to serve, pour in the sparkling rosé. Taste and add simple syrup to taste. Use a ladle to divide the sangria and fruit into glasses.