Every year, my husband and I have our annual Chrismahaunakwanzika party (the name was lifted from the 2005 Virgin Mobile commercials), and every year we make a vat of sangria.  The recipe comes from my friend Amanda, who knows how to throw a good party, complete with awesome beverages.

For the past few years I have had to borrow her boyfriend’s punch bowl (which is a family heirloom, so I always got SUPER nervous that I was going to break it), and so when it came time for my bridal shower, she had no problems picking something out for me.  She got me a FISHBOWL of a punch bowl.  This thing is serious.  I haven’t used the cups that come with it yet, but the punch bowl has been used a few times now.  I think I technically quadrupled the sangria recipe to fill that thing.  Quite possibly one of the best wedding gifts we got.  She also got us our cast iron skillet, so not only does the girl know how to throw a party, she knows how to gift give.

Party Sangria

1 Bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja, Zinfandel, Shiraz)
1 Lemon cut into wedges
1 Orange cut into wedges
1 Lime cut into wedges
2 Tbsp sugar
Splash of orange juice
2 Shots of gin
4 Cups ginger ale

Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) then add sugar, orange juice and gin. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale and ice just before serving. If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice. However, remember that the best Sangrias are chilled around 24 hours in the frig. – allowing the flavors to really marinate into each other.

For mine I used 2 of the giant bottles of red wine (gotta love Costco), and then 2 2 liter bottles of gingerale.  I also liberally poured gin into the bowl, tasting to make sure it wasn’t too strong of a gin taste.  I like to make my sangria saucy, but some people might not like gin as much (I actually can’t stand gin on it’s own).

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