BoozeDIYSan Francisco

DIY Summer Sangria, aka "Mom's Special Punch"

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Tastes good AND gets you wasted. What a deal.

When I was younger, my mom really loved fruit punch.  Everywhere we went — soccer games, my middle school orchestra concerts, Applebee’s — there my mom would be with her plastic to-go cups bought in bulk from Costco (née Price Club) filled with extremely pungent, blood-red juice.


I accept that I was kind of a late bloomer (in fact, I think I might still be blooming) and didn’t know much about alcohol as an adolescent except that my youth pastor referred to it as “Satan’s spit,” but how could I have not seen the signs?  After all, I didn’t make myself laugh so hard at my own jokes when I drank punch that I peed my capris and then announced it to everyone within earshot, causing me to laugh more, then pee more.  I didn’t consistently fall asleep two hours after drinking punch and not wake up until the next morning, regardless of the hour.  Of course, I did finally discover what everyone else already knew — my mom was an alcoholic (luckily a jovial one) whose drink of choice was sangria.

Now, there’s a million different ways to make sangria.  Some recipes include brandy (gag).  Some include carbonated additives, like 7-Up (yum).  But I definitely think my mom’s sangria recipe is one of the simplest I’ve ever seen, probably because anything more complicated would have been too confusing for her to whip up while already hammered.  The most important thing is that as recent as today at my twin brothers’ baseball game, my mom brought two cups instead of just one, and now that I’m officially in the club, I can share “Mom’s Special Punch” with YOU.

What you need:

– 1 bottle of fruity red wine (the cheaper, the better.  Really.) – 1/4 cup Triple Sec – 1/4 cup sugar – 3 oranges (1 juiced, the other 2 sliced into rounds) – 1 lemon (sliced into rounds) – 1 nectarine (sliced into wedges)

How to make it:

Dump the sliced fruit and sugar into something big, like a pitcher or a punch bowl.  (I just got a huge plastic pitcher from one of those 99-cent stores in the Mission.  I’m aware that the material is probably riddled with cancer-causing particles, but I’m willing to see how that plays out.)  Squish the fruit with something, like a wooden spoon, that will allow you to extract some juice, but leave the fruit looking presentable enough to be floating around in the finished product.  Stir that around ’til the sugar dissolves, then add the wine, Triple Sec, and juice from one orange.  Let everything chill in the fridge for at least an hour.  Drink it all.

Sangria really does taste better if you make it the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight so the fruit flavors have more time to steep with the wine (read:  the longer you let it sit, the more the fruit at the bottom of your cup will taste like a really strong shot when you bite into it).  But seriously, if you’ve only got five minutes to make this shit before you’re supposed to meet your friends at Dolores, whatever.  It will still be at least as good as that 12-pack of PBR you were gonna bring and get you much tipsier.

You’re welcome.

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Christy Jovanelly - Cheapskate Commentator

Christy Jovanelly - Cheapskate Commentator

When Christy announced she was leaving her family's Southern California home and moving to San Francisco, her mom said, "Have fun in that den of sin." This is the only (however sarcastic) advice Christy has ever taken from her mom, who also told her to join and cover her eyes during sex scenes in movies. Christy puts her creative writing degree to good use by locating the typos on Chinese food menus and spends most of her time challenging friends to all-you-can-eat contests and trying to get that one bartender at Zeitgeist to smile.


  1. March 22, 2010 at 9:57 pm — Reply

    Yum… this is the kind of drink that would last all year in Miami’s hot weather!

  2. Christy Jovanelly - Cheapskate Commentator
    March 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm — Reply

    Oh, man. I need to move to Miami!

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