I poured failed pitchers of sangria down the drain for years until I learned the secret ingredient: orange liqueur. I have to give props to the makers of Grand Marnier for inspiring me on this recipe, which I’ve tweaked only slightly. Trader Joe Brand Merlot is perfect for this recipe and only costs $4. Bonus! If you have to splurge, splurge on the orange liqueur. In other words, don’t use Triple Sec. Either Grand Marnier or Cuantro work great.
An hour or more before you’re planning to serve the Sangria, grab a pretty glass pitcher to show off the wine-soaked fruit you’re about to add.
To the pitcher, add:
1/2 cup green grapes
1 lemon and 1/2 an orange, each sliced into thin rounds
1/2-1 apple, thinly sliced, depending on the size of the apple
Sprinkle the fruit with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1 tbsp sweetener (I use 4 packs of Splenda, but sugar would work. It doesn’t dissolve as easily, though, so consider dissolving it in the orange juice before adding)
Top with 1/2 cup orange liqueur.
Let this mixture sit in the fridge until serving time. A tip: put the bottle of merlot in the fridge, too. That way, when you’re ready to serve, all the beverage components are chilled.
At serving time, the first rule is to stop yourself from eating all that yummy marinated fruit! Once that’s accomplished, pour into pitcher:
1 bottle of merlot
1 cup high-quality orange juice.
Stir gently and serve over ice.
*This recipe is great when doubled, just make sure your pitcher is large enough.
Here’s a link to Grand Marnier’s website: www.grandmarnier.com