Sangria is a delicious party punch-ripe red wine with summer fruit and sparkling fizz-that's easy to make and easy to serve. This version is sweetened with strawberries, and only lightly spiked with orange liqueur. Serve well-chilled with small bowls of salty almonds.
2 bottles inexpensive Merlot wine 1 cup sweet port wine 1/2 cup orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec 2 navel oranges 1 lemon 16 ounces strawberries, 24 to 36 ounces tonic water, well chilled Mint to garnish
Sangria should be prepared at least 12 hours before serving, so that the fruit juices can infuse the wine with their flavor. At least one day before serving, mix the wine, port wine, and orange liqueur in a large pitcher or container. Cut the oranges and lemons in half lengthwise, and then into half-moons. Stir into the wine mixture. Hull the strawberries and cut them in half, then mix them into the wine as well. Using the back of a long spoon, muddle the strawberries into the bottom of the jug, smashing them and releasing their juices. Cover the jug and chill overnight, or up to 3 days.
Just before serving, stir in the tonic water, adjusting to taste. Serve in tumblers or wine glasses with a sprig of mint to garnish.
Makes 24, 8-oz. servings.