Strictly speaking, the classic Spanish cocktail sangria contains red wine, a sweet drink such as lemonade, a touch of brandy and a handful of chopped fruits. However, sangria is a drink with many variations that may feature white wine, orange juice, honey or ginger beer. You may certainly include champagne in sangria. It creates a more bubbly but highly refreshing summer cocktail.
What to Add
There are almost as many sangria ingredient variations as there are Spaniards in Barcelona. A general rule for the liquid ingredients is three parts wine or champagne to one part juice and two parts lemonade. Add about an ounce or 2 of brandy or triple sec for every bottle of champagne. The sharpness of citrus fruit goes well with champagne, but you may also add other types of fruit, including peaches, sliced apple and blueberries. A mix of fruits makes the flavors more complex and refreshing.
Mix It Up
Sangria starts with the base. Set up a large punch bowl and pour in the non-alcoholic ingredients, such as the lemonade and orange juice. Chop up and add the fruit. Bruise and lightly mash any harder fruits, such as apples and peaches, to help mix the flavors. Drop in the brandy shot, then add chilled champagne last. Pour it in slowly, to prevent it from fizzing up, and stir it gently to combine all of the ingredients. Add ice to keep it nice and cold.
Serve It Up
Because champagne and some lemonades are carbonated, drink the champagne sangria as soon as possible after mixing. Refrigerating it overnight will leave you with a flat drink that's lost its verve. If you like your drink light on fruit, pour the sangria into champagne glasses to enjoy the bubbles. If you prefer a few chunks of peach or citrus in your sangria, use tumblers or punch glasses.
The fruit options for champagne sangria are almost limitless. Add 2 cups of chopped watermelon to create a colorful, fruity drink. Grapes and bananas also work well against the fizz of the champagne. Drop sprigs of mint in each glass for extra freshness. Switching the spirit from brandy to other options, such as Grand Marnier or orange liqueur, to create slightly different flavors.
- Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images