Let's just get this out of the way: sangria gets a bad rap. Partly because there are a lot of overly-sweetened, mutant versions out there. And for every "mango nectar white sangria" on a menu, there's usually someone happy to shell out for some Sprite-spiked wine. That's not to say you shouldn't enjoy some authentic sangria when the time's right. Although Spaniards have been drinking it for centuries, the brandy-spiked drink didn't make an official US appearance until 1964, at the World's Fair in New York. The name comes from the Spanish word for "bleeding," which is fitting—you want all the flavors to come together as one. Refreshingly light and relatively low in alcohol, it's perfect for an outdoor meal. And like punch, sangria is a social drink. So mix up a pitcher of the good stuff and drink it proudly.
dry red wine
fresh orange juice
apples, oranges, limes
(and any other in-season fruit you'd like, from peaches to berries)
In a large pitcher, combine the brandy and orange juice with the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Add in the pieces of fruit and mash gently with the back of a spoon to release some of the natural juices.
Add the wine, stir and refrigerate until well chilled (approximately one hour).
Serve in glasses over ice, making sure to include some of the boozey fruit in each glass.