Whenever we visit my parents in Florida, we have dinner at Columbia, a Spanish/Cuban-style restaurant on Sarasota’s St. Armand’s Circle. Mike and I always share a pitcher of their Sparkling White Sangria, which the server prepares tableside for a little drama. I thought it’d be fun to make at home for friends, so I created this copycat recipe. There’s no need to use an expensive sparkling wine. Buy something inexpensive and buy a lot–no matter how much sangria I make, I always find myself back in the kitchen chopping fruit to make another batch.
Sparkling White Sangria
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) brandy or cognac
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar (see note)
- 1 orange, halved
- 2 limes
- 1 small apple, such as Fuji or Honeycrisp, peeled and chopped
- 1 nectarine, chopped
- 1 bottle chilled sparkling wine, such as Cava, Prosecco or Champagne
- 1 cup lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite
- A few bunches frozen grapes
- In a large pitcher, combine the brandy, orange liqueur and sugar. Squeeze juice from one lime and one orange half into the pitcher. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Slice the remaining orange half into thin slices and add to pitcher, then add chopped apples and nectarines. Add the sparkling wine, lemon-lime soda and a large bunch of frozen grapes. Place ice cubes in glasses (do not put them in the pitcher or they’ll water the drink down) along with small bunches of frozen grapes and pour sangria over top. Spoon chopped fruit into glasses, garnish with lime slices if desired and serve.
- Note: Superfine sugar dissolves much faster than regular sugar. It is available at most supermarkets. This recipe makes a fairly sweet sangria; if you prefer it dry, use less sugar.