Earlier this summer, in Alive's "Summer Bucket List" issue, I pledged to attempt to make sangria.

Earlier this summer, in Alive’s “Summer Bucket List” issue, I pledged to attempt to make sangria.

At the time, my emotions were high and I was feeling optimistic. When I was poised to dump orange juice in with a decent bottle of red wine, I felt sick. And when the last glass had been consumed, I felt certain I would never drink “regular” wine at home again.

Let me take you on the journey in between.

Maybe it’s just me, but sangria has this “fancy” mysterious air about it. It’s peppered with fruit and boozier than wine. Sometimes it includes herbs. And it always, always tastes so darn good.

Who would be crazy enough to make it at home? Well, as it turns out — plenty of people. And the recipes that prove it are all over the internet.

Below, find a red and white that I successfully made and enjoyed. But first, a few tips.

Essentially, you’re combining fruit with citrus liqueur like triple sec or Cointreau. The fruit juices and liquor adds complexity; the red recipe calls for a bit of sugar to help take the edge off its dry profile. Add a little ginger ale at the end for a nice, light effervesce.

As for the wine itself — since you’re doctoring it up, there’s no need to use something pricey. But if you do, it will still benefit.

Photo by Meghan Ralston