Can you believe that Halloween is almost 2 weeks away?! It's basically crunch time if you are planning to have a party or if you are making plans to go out, and speaking of throwing a party, I did, a few days ago for The Walking Dead premiere of season 5. It was sort of a last minute idea; I invited a few friends and had a small budget because I wanted to do something on actual Halloween…since it's on a Friday this year! I've learned from years of playing hostess and being pretty good at mixology that my guests expect me to make something great but, sometimes I'll get so involved with creating the cocktails that I'm not able to chat to my guests. I decided that this year I would mingle more with my friends and was not going to risk missing The Walking Dead season premiere while it aired. For this mini viewing party, I wanted something that was easy to make, would serve a small group of people, was affordable and fantastic tasting.
I decided on red wine Sangria because a.) I wanted something dark in color and that had a Walking Dead/Halloween vibe to it, b.) I could make it in advance and c.) I could make it in bulk so I wouldn't have to hand-shake individual drinks. A lot of the recipes I found online used brandy as the base liquor plus red wine but I wanted to try something different. I ended up finding a bottle of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum with a Sherry Oak Finish on sale at Trader Joe's for $7.99 - done. Additionally, I purchased some fruit and bottles of wine, half were Tempranillo and the other half was Syrah. This red wine Sangria recipe is so easy because all you have to do is wash and slice up the fruit, add the fruit to the infuser insert, add the booze and then let it marinate! The 1 & 1/2 glass infusion dispenser I used will hold the below ingredients perfectly - the spigot makes it easy to dispense, too. I placed all of the strawberries and apples in the infuser and left the citrus slices in the liquid glass part so guests could see them.
After some serious brainstorming, I decided to call this crafty concoction Spiced "Sangre" Sangria. Sangre translates to "blood" in Spanish, so the name makes perfect sense for a Walking Dead and/or Halloween party since the color of this Sangria is a dark, rich- colored red. The spiced part comes from the spiced rum and the rest, of course, is Sangria. If you do decide to make this "deadly delicious" drink, then I urge you to make it at least 2 days in advance to really let all of the fruit and wine infuse with the rum so you'll have well-rounded flavors. I also suggest adding a splash of sparkling lemon water once your guest pour theirs drink to add some nice liveliness and lightness as a finishing touch. Also, since the Sangria was chilling in your fridge for a couple days, it'll be party ready when guests arrive. If the dispenser looses the coolness, simply have an optional ice bucket on the side.
I'm telling you, trying this new technique will change your outlook on hosting. To be able to make something in advance and not worry about it and then use it "cold and dispense ready" will make this new Spiced "Sangre" Sangria indispensable with your future party planning. Cheers, and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more cocktail recipes and fun!
Slice up apples and strawberries and place in the infuser insert. You may have 1/2 of an apple that won't fit in. Slice oranges, lemons and limes into medium-thin wheels and set aside. Pour Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, 4 bottles of wine, triple sec, sugar and grenadine into glass dispenser and stir until sugar is dissolved. Place citrus wheels inside the diffuser. Twist and attach infuser insert to lid and then twist the lid closed on the dispenser. Marinate for a minimum of 1-3 days for best flavor results. When ready to serve, add an optional splash of sparkling lemon water to the drink and stir and you're ready to serve! P.S. If you don't have a fruit infuser pitcher then I recommend using a 1 & 1/2 - 2 gallon pitcher that at least has a spigot in which would just place all of the fruit together in the pithcer.