Virgin Sangria

With Vancouver Fashion Week in full swing, there will be a lot of fashion covered in upcoming blogs, so I wanted to sneak in a quick and easy recipe that I actually developed myself.

No one is a big drinker at our family functions - just the odd glass of wine, beer or sometimes Glen and his brother share a bit of quality single malt scotch - and a few do not drink at all.  With this family mix, plus the growing list of friends who have cut way back or stopped, I decided one day to experiment and see if I could create a virgin Sangria.  This recipe has come in handy several times in recent months and seems to be generally well received, so here it is.  Something bright, sparkly and with lots of flavour for those skipping the alcoholic kick of a traditional Sangria.

I assemble this either the night before for a mid-day brunch or in the morning for an evening meal. It needs time for the flavours to develop.

You will need -
Large Glass Pitcher (with all the citrus, I really recommend this)
White Grape Juice (Approx. 1.82 litres)
Pineapple Juice (Approx. 1/2 to 1 cup)
2 Large Oranges
2 Lemons
2 Limes
Gingerale (or white wine for a regular sangria)

Pour White Grape Juice in a large glass pitcher. Juice 1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime and add to the pitcher.  Take the remaining orange, lemon and lime and cut in half lengthwise and then cross-wise into thin slices.  Add the slices to the pitcher.  Add Pineapple Juice - this is a strong element so how much you add really depends on your taste.  I probably add somewhere around 3/4 cup, but usually just eye it by space available in the pitcher I have.  Gently give it a stir and place the pitcher in refrigerator.

Let sit for several hours or overnight.  I tend to take a mixing spoon and occasionally push the fruit down into the grape juice as it tends to float on the top.  This stirs up the concoction and seems to pull a bit more flavour out of the fruit slices.

When ready to serve, take a long mixing spoon, press it against the fruit in the pitcher to release little more juice and then give it a gentle stir.  Fill wine glasses about 2/3 full of the fruit mixture, add an ice cube (2 if small) and then top up with club soda.  If you want to be really fancy you can add a slice of fruit from the pitcher either in the drink or on the rim of the glass.

There you have it.  Full of flavour, light and refreshing Virgin Sangria a la Marilyn. :)  Hope you have a chance to give it a try.  Oh - and as always, don't be afraid to experiment.  I have seen recipes with strawberries, kiwi, apple and more.  Another great addition is fresh mint leaves!  This very citrus-y version just seems to hit the spot for me.

Note - all images are stock images.