Originating in Spain and typically made by mixing red wine, fresh fruits and brandy, sangria made its North American debut at the 1964 World's Fair. Since then, both amateur and professional bartenders have created hundreds of sangria recipes. While some of these variations come from different combinations of fruits and liqueurs, others call for white wine or Champagne. Champagne sangria works well with a warm-weather brunch.
If you're making Champagne sangria, don't use the most expensive bottle of Champagne in your collection. High-quality, expensive Champagnes have subtle flavors that will be lost in the sangria. You also shouldn't use the least expensive bottle in the store, as your sangria won't be as flavorful and bubbly as it could be. Instead, go for a mid-range bottle of Champagne that offers good flavor without a hefty price tag.
You can use any fruit or combination of fruits you want in your Champagne sangria. Because sangria is typically a summertime drink, choose seasonal fruits such as peaches, strawberries and raspberries. You can also pick mangoes, pineapples and kiwis to create a tropical-inspired sangria.
Adding a fruit juice, like orange or grapefruit, imparts flavor and sweetness to the Champagne sangria. Your juice choice should complement the types of fresh fruit you're using. For additional sweetness, stir in a bit of simple syrup. You can also add triple sec, brandy, or orange liqueur to your Champagne sangria. Because the Champagne is bubbly, you don't need to add soda water or other carbonated beverage.
Protect the Bubbles
For traditional sangria recipes, you mix all the ingredients together and let the flavors from the fruits infuse for several hours or overnight. With Champagne sangria, you don't want to mix the Champagne in too early because it will lose its bubbles. Instead, mix together all of the other ingredients -- fruit juice, fruit, sugar and liqueur -- and refrigerate it overnight. When you're ready to serve your sangria, add the chilled Champagne and serve the sangria over ice.