Sangria

Sangria

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 lemon

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.

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