The appeal of sangria lies in large part to all the fruity photos which show a goblet or wine glass chock full of berries, orange slices, etc. But real sangria isn’t served like that. The fruit stays in the pitcher, and the drink goes in the glass.
The other thing sangria has going for it is that ruby-rich color. (The name sangria is derived from the Spanish word for blood.)
What sangria doesn’t have going for it is spontaneity or brevity. What can you do when you’re throwing together a last-minute taco night for two … or just one?
Simple: Just brew some hibiscus tea with aromatics, slice some citrus fruit, and grab some Spiker’s shrubs. Hisbiscus tea provides unique flavors which share some common attributes with red wine. It also creates a gorgeous, naturally colored red base for your drink.
The aromatics introduce flavor notes common in red wines, especially Rioja, Shiraz, and Syrah. The shrubs provide concentrated fruit flavor profiles, with added acidity to give your drink a tangy, complex layer. And the fresh fruit slices and berries (if you happen to have them on hand) round out the drink with more eye appeal and flavor.
The mint is more than a garnish. Brewing it with the hibiscus and cinnamon stick infuse the tea with extra earthy and spicy notes.
NOTE: If you do have time to let this brew steep overnight, go for it! The flavors will meld and deepen, and you’ll be rewarded with something far more complex than the quickie version.
COCKTAIL NOTE: Add a splash of rum if you want to turn this into a cocktail.
Mocktail Monday: Very Berry Sangria
- 2 Hibiscus tea bags
- 16 ounces boiling water
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 2 allspice berries
- 6 black peppercorns tellicherry preferred
- 1 large very ripe peach including the pit
- 1 cup assorted sliced or diced fruit apples, cherries, oranges etc
- 12 black or Concord grapes whole or halved
- 2 ounces Spiker's Sour Cherry Plum Shrub
- 2 ounces Spiker's Raspberry Bergamot Shrub
- 2 ounces Spiker's Pineapple Basil Shrub
- 4 dashes citrus bitters
- 2 lime wedges for garnish - optional
- Bring 12 ounces water to boil. While waiting, wash the peach and pat dry. Cut in half and remove the pit. Save the pit. Do not peel the peach. Chop the peach into dice and set aside.
- When the water has come to a full boil, remove from heat. Add two hibiscus tea bags, the cinnamon stick, allspice berries, peppercorns, mint, and peach pit and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bags but do not remove the aromatics.
- While the tea is still warm, add the chopped peaches, chopped fruit, and grapes. Set this aside for at least 30 minutes (or even overnight) to allow the fruit flavors to infuse.
- When ready to serve, lightly muddle the infused mixture to extract as much juice as possible, and then strain into a pitcher. Discard the fruit and aromatics.
- Add a total of 8 ounces of Spiker's Shrubs, plus the bitters. (If you don't have all the flavors suggested above, mix and match with whatever you have on hand as long as it adds up to 8 ounces.)
- In two tall Collins glasses, put 4-5 ice cubes. Pour the Sangria mix evenly into the glasses. Garnish with extra mint, a slice of orange or lime, or a few grapes on a small skewer. Enjoy!