Planning bridal showers from 400 miles away is hard. I guess I let the bridesmaid that was close take care of most of the details, though I tried to contribute what I could. My favorite contribution: sangria!
I had the idea of doing signature cocktails at this bridal shower. I think I was picturing learning how to make one drink and using a cocktail shaker all afternoon. I certainly didn’t want to use a blender, partially because I thought we’d be outside and partially because they’re just too noisy and annoying. The other bridesmaid suggested doing something with a punchbowl instead, and that seemed like a pretty good idea to me.
The bride is a big fan of wine, particularly red wine. Sangria was the natural choice. To be honest, I wavered a bit on it because I hadn’t ever had any that I loved. In fact, when I’ve had it in the past, I’ve thought that the wine would have been better without the pulpy bits of fruit and only politeness kept me from removing the fruit. But in doing a little research, I found a recipe that had such overwhelmingly positive reviews that I had to give it a try. After all, it was the perfect combination of the bride’s favorite drink and summertime.
I didn’t take pictures of the process because it was a little chaotic. Anyway, my hands were covered in sticky, sweet fruit juice. And I admit, I felt silly enough taking close-ups of the punch bowl after it was assembled.
But the process is simple. Just combine brandy (I picked up a $10 bottle, doesn’t have to be anything fancy), lemon juice, lemonade concentrate (I used pink lemonade concentrate), orange juice, a bottle of dry red wine, sugar, and soda water if you feel like having fizzies.
The recipe also called for triple sec, but the liquor store didn’t have it. I forgive them because the lady behind the counter gave me advice on how to treat my sunburn so that it didn’t hurt so much when I tried to sleep.
I also forgot to pick up orange juice, but compensated by squeezing fresh oranges.
And I forgot the soda water in the first batch. Oops.
Anyway, drop in fresh sliced limes, lemons, and oranges, along with some maraschino cherries, and you’re good to go.
The recipe said that you’re supposed to chill it, but I’m proud to say that it never really got a chance because I kept having to make more. In fact, the host ran out to get more red wine because of it.
A general note: if you plan on making multiple batches, buy enough lemons and limes to float new slices in each batch, since the red wine stains them.
I found time to have some, as well. And it really was so good. It did not taste like fruit floating awkwardly in dry red wine, but more like a sweet red wine with fruit undertones that were complemented by the floating fruit slices. Served on ice in cute little punch cups, it turned out to be the perfect drink.
Now I need an excuse to make some more.
Recipe: here or on Tastebook shortly.