Makes 8 – 12 drinks
One 750 ml bottle dry white or red wine
½ cup Calvados or apple brandy
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
1 small apple, diced
1 small orange, diced, plus another sliced orange for garnish
12 grapes, cut in half
4 tablespoons sugar
Club soda or seltzer
For white wine Sangria: 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
For red wine Sangria: 1/3 cup chopped dried cherries
Put the dried fruit in a small bowl and pour ¾ cup of boiling water over it. Let the fruit soak for a half hour. With your hands, remove the fruit and gently squeeze it over the bowl to remove some of the liquid. Set the fruit aside. Measure out the soaking liquid; there should be at least a quarter cup. Put the liquid in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil – if you have more than a half cup of liquid, reduce it to a quarter cup. Then add the sugar, stir to dissolve, and set it aside to cool.
In the meantime, remove the peel from the lemon in strips with a vegetable peeler. Juice the lemon and set the juice aside.
Put the diced fruit, the grapes, and the lemon peel in a large non-reactive pitcher. Add the wine and the liqueurs, along with the soaked dried fruit. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture and about a tablespoon of lemon juice and stir to mix. Taste the mixture and add a little more sugar mixture or lemon juice to taste. Cover the pitcher with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge a couple of hours or overnight.
To serve, fill a highball glass about a quarter of the way with ice. Fill the glass about 2/3 full with the Sangria mixture, including some fruit. Top with club soda or seltzer, add a slice of orange, and enjoy.