Confession:  I’ve never met a sangria I didn’t like, but I’ve never made one myself.  This week I tried it for a girl’s night by the pool and was surprised by how quick, easy (and delicious) it was.

In searching for recipes, my heart skipped a beat when I came across Emeril’s recipe using red wine instead of white, so I knew that’s where I wanted to start.  His recipe had great reviews, but I made a few tweaks (because I had more fruit and flavored sparkling water on hand).  Judging by the empty pitcher BEFORE the night was even close to over, I think it was a success!

This is such a quick recipe, I didn’t have time to take to take “how to” pics.  Instead I give you Summer Sangria, plain and simple:

Summer Sangria

(yield: approximately 3 quarts)

2 bottles of red wine
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1/2 cup sugar
4 T fresh lime juice
4 T fresh orange juice
1 thinly sliced lemon
1 thinly sliced orange
1 thinly sliced nectarine
1 unwaxed apple, cored and thinly sliced
12 pitted cherries
1 (750 mL) bottle Lorina Pomegranate Blueberry Sparkling water

Combine everything except the sparkling water in a large container.  Chill 1 – 2 hours.  Add sparkling water before serving and pour into glasses with ice.  Garnish with “boozey” fruit if desired.