Cherry-flavored soda puts a Southern spin on this classic Spanish cocktail.While on tour in 2017, I ate my weight at an excellent Spanish tapas joint in Durham, N.C. called Mateo. I washed it all down with a couple of pitchers of Cheerwine Sangria, which is one of those ideas that’s so brilliant that it actually hurts me to not have thought of it. While I respect them far too much to actually ask for the recipe, that doesn’t stop me from trying to hack it from memory. I think this gets pretty darned close. Of course, you can and should use fresh fruit as desired and as is available, but I wanted to start from a democratic baseline, so I went with frozen fruit, which I always have on hand. As for the wine part, any Spanish blend will do, but Rioja is especially appropriate. For those not in the know, Cheerwine is a wild cherry-flavored cola out of Salisbury, N.C. It used to only be available in the South, but it’s slowly spreading due to the interest in heritage soda pops. If you can’t find it locally consider ordering online. Do not…I repeat, do not use cherry Coke.Drink responsibly, of course, which means, hide the car keys. This recipe first appeared on altonbrown.com.
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 bottle red wine, Spanish blend
- 4 fluid ounces triple sec or other orange liqueur
- 2 fluid ounces brandy
- 1 teaspoon cherry bitters
- 1/2 cup frozen peaches, chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen mango, chopped
- 8 to 10 basil leaves, roughly torn into large pieces
- 1 orange, quartered
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 2 (12-ounce) bottles Cheerwine, chilled
Combine the wine, triple sec, brandy, cherry bitters, frozen peaches and mango, and basil in a large pitcher and chill at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
When ready to serve, skim the basil off the surface with a spoon or small strainer.
Divide the fruit from the pitcher into 8 large wine glasses and top each with 4 fluid ounces of the wine mixture, followed by 3 fluid ounces of Cheerwine.
Finish by squeezing an orange quarter into each of the glasses (I usually let the drinkers do this) and garnish with an orange slice.
Drink and repeat, responsibly of course, which means hide all the car keys.