How To Perfect Sangria For The Ultimate 4th Of July Cookout

Sangria by a pool
Sangria by a pool - Sherif M. Alyamany/Shutterstock

Drinks at your typical Fourth of July cookout usually include beer and soda, but if you're looking for something a little classier, sangria can be a great option. This wine punch consists primarily of wine and chopped fruit. It sometimes includes fruit juice, sugar, or other spirits added to the mix to ramp up the flavor. The result is a slightly sweet, boozy twist on a classic fruit punch -- perfect for serving up at summer get-togethers to cool your guests down.

Adam Cass, sommelier at Aba Miami, and Carla Lorenzo, corporate beverage director at The Hampton Social, spoke with Daily Meal and gave some exclusive tips on how to tailor this drink to the Independence Day theme. Both experts explained that you can create the perfect sangria for July Fourth by playing with the fruit and liquor you use to put it together. Plus, they noted that the glassware and garnish can be a way to ramp up the Fourth of July feel when you serve your guests.

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Tips For Making A Red, White, And Blue Sangria

Person preparing sangria
Person preparing sangria - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Adam Cass says that one easy way to play up the Fourth of July theme when serving sangria at your party is to make a red, white, and blue option. Rather than making a traditional, easy red wine sangria, use a white wine base instead. "Sauvignon Blanc and Albariño are great choices," he notes. He then likes to add orange liqueur and club soda, saying mixing in "raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries is a great spin for the Fourth of July." If you prefer red wine, however, you can also go the opposite route -- use a red wine base with blueberries and pear slices to add a pop of blue and white.

Carla Lorenzo also notes that, besides playing up the red, white, and blue theme, you can introduce unique tasting notes into your sangria by incorporating additional spirits. She says, "Liqueurs like St. Germain and fruit liqueurs are an easy way to add complexity and interesting notes to your sangria." It can also be a fun way to enhance the fruits already in your drink. Grand Marnier is a common choice, amplifying the orange notes. Another choice might be to add a raspberry or blueberry liqueur to play on the red and blue fruits. You can also move away from fruit liqueurs entirely and play with other notes, such as adding a spicy mamajuana liqueur to introduce warming notes.

How To Serve Sangria The Right Way

American flag themed sangria
American flag themed sangria - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Besides the ingredients you use, you can also amp up the Fourth of July theme of your sangria by playing with how you serve it. "​​The best way to add a themed twist is to pre-decorate glasses with elements of your theme," Carla Lorenzo notes. Adam Cass suggests adding a slice of watermelon and an American flag to add a red element and a patriotic touch. But you could also use other garnishes. A mini red, white, or blue pinwheel, for instance, can work well as a garnish for your summer sangria. Or, two cocktail cherries on a toothpick can add a dash of red and a sweet, boozy flavor as well.

Beyond garnishes and sticking to your theme, don't let keeping the drink cool fall by the wayside. Cass has a handy suggestion for how to maintain the temperature without diluting your drink. He says, "Consider using a small pitcher available filled with ice to refill for guests while keeping the big bowl with most of the sangria refrigerated. Replenishing the small pitcher once finished. This will keep the sangria cold for your guests!" With these tips and tricks, you're ready to serve up a classy, themed sangria at your Independence Day gathering.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.