I am planning a large backyard party in October (best weather of the year!) where the guests will be dining on Indian Street Food (think delicious soft bread wrapped around chicken tikka masala and green beans in coconut milk on the side – yum!).  While there will be plenty of spicy red wine and Indian beer on hand, you should always consider having a “Signature Cocktail” when your guests first arrive.  I think this Sangria, which is such a versatile offering, will be perfect for a party in the fall.

1 (3-liter) bottle Burgundy or Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
3 apples of different varieties, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 plum, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 cup seedless red grapes, sliced in half
Club Soda
[Adapted from: Cooking Club of America]

Pour wine into large glass pitcher or ceramic bowl. Add brandy, orange juice and sugar, and stir. Add sliced apples, lemon, plum, orange, and grapes; combine all ingredients until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cover and refrigerate overnight, but it’s always best to let it set for the full 24 hours. Strain before serving, top each glass off with a splash of club soda (or add a cup or two straight into your serving pitcher, and garnish with fresh fruit.
Final tip, serve this in a stemless wine glass or mason jar to keep the vibe casual. Enjoy!