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White Wine Sangria, Just Like Mom Used To Make

She never made hers in an old Brita pitcher but you know, details.

My parents used to have some pretty stylin’ pool parties. Our friend Betty would bring her boozy milky lemonade (you must try it if you haven’t yet) and my mom would stir up a light, fizzy sangria.

I emailed my mom too see if she remembered where she got the recipe. Her reply:

Yes, I know exactly where it came from: a cookbook call Past & Repast: the History and Hospitality of the Missouri Governor’s Mansion, copyright 1983. The original recipe called for a small bottle of club soda, and 1/2 cup Cointreau. Everyone got pretty looped so I started making it with 1/4 cup Cointreau and a large bottle of soda. XO MOM

The recipe:

1 bottle dry chilled white wine
1/4 cup cointreau
1/4 cup sugar
1 bottle club soda
1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 orange: all sliced.
Stir the sugar and cointreau in the bottom of the pitcher until the sugar dissolves. Add the wine. When you’re ready to serve it, add the club soda and fruit slices.

I used to make this A LOT for parties in college, so it seemed like an appropriate drink to bring for my cousin’s recent college graduation party. It was as easy to make — and to drink — as I remembered: bright, citrusy, and light, and thanks to mom’s adjustments, I didn’t get too “looped.” Later, it also proved perfectly delicious and low-maintenance enough to bring to a barbeque at my boyfriend’s.

New York City tap water doesn’t really require a Brita, so we put the pitcher to good use.

TIPS FOR LAZY AND CREATIVE BOOZERS

• Get a Sodastream machine. I say this every week but if you drink a lot of club soda it really saves you money.

• Cointreau is a brand of orange-flavored liqueur. I used a generic $10 Triple Sec when I made this at my cousin’s house, and then later tried fancier Bauchant at my boyfriend’s (only because the people who promote it sent me a bottle). Mom’s recipe called for Cointreau. All are good in this drink.

• As for wine, I used some bottles of white wine left over from a family party. Sangria is great for that! If I had bought a new bottle, I probably would have gone for Albariño, a crisp Spanish white that’s excellent for sangria, and tasty on its own with seafood.

Jenni Avins mixes drinks in her New York kitchen, where she also writes about food, fashion, travel, and the arts for various magazines and websites. She makes videos too. Follow her on Twitter @jenniavins

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