How to Make Sangria Using What's on Hand

By Jordan Whitehouse

The dictionary defines sangria </ahref="http:>as an alcoholic drink of red wine, fruit juice and often soda water. Although this does sound like a winning combination, don't turn away from this refreshing beverage if you happen to be missing an ingredient or two. There are endless possibilities when it comes to a great-tasting, fruit-infused wine including creative additions like sliced fruit or fresh herbs.

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No Red Wine?

No problem. Use white wine. Or rose. Any wine will do when making sangria. You can also give your sangria extra strength by adding some liquor -- about 1.5 ounces for every four servings. Try classic or flavored vodka, rum or brandy.

Options For Mixing

Most of us will have water on hand to add to the wine. Before you do this, survey your fridge, freezer and pantry for fruit-flavored alternatives. Any flavor of juice concentrate is perfect added straight to the mix, and it doubles as ice. Drink crystals will also work in place of regular fruit juice. Lemonade, iced tea and sparkling water are all suitable for sangria.

Nothing but water on hand to mix with your wine? Try brewing your own iced tea.

Fruit Additions

Citrus fruit is great in sangria, but it is not the only choice. In addition to, or in place of, citrus, summer berries, peaches, pineapple, grapes, kiwis, mango and melons can infuse delightful freshness into sangria.

Put It Together

Making freestyle sangria depends on tasting as you go. Start with muddling the fruit if you choose to do so then add your wine -- and liquor if you are using it. Pour in your mix of choice and fruit, then taste to determine if you need to top it off with water. Slowly add water if necessary and taste as you go.

Additional Add-Ins

If you're not quite happy with your final product, try any of these to round out the flavors: