For this, our second weekend in August, I’m sharing two recipes for sangria made with red wine. This is traditional sangria, and it is THE perfect beverage for a summer cookout or picnic, also features bowls of fresh guacamole with chips, grilled shrimp, barbeque or burgers, and fiery salsa for slathering on anything and everything.

Now to the sangrias.

First, a simple and basic one. Start with a bottle of dry red wine – nothing expensive. A Spanish Red is a fitting choice.

Cut one orange into bite-sized pieces or half-moon slices, removing any seeds, and put them in a pitcher.

Add the juice on the cutting board.

Next, do the same with a Granny Smith apple, removing any seeds.

Add the wine and a nice shot of brandy (approximately 1/4 cup; no more than that).

Stir and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Taste the sangria. If it’s not sweet enough, add either a half cup of orange juice, or simple syrup to taste. (Simple syrup is made by bringing 1 cup of water to a boil then stirring in 1/2 cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Allow the simple syrup to cool before using it.)

When it’s party time, serve the sangria in large wine glasses, being sure to put fruit in the glasses. Top with seltzer if desired, as this adds a nice bubbly finish.

Another delicious red wine sangria can be made with blackberries, blueberries, and plums, all at their peak this time of year.

Put about a cup of both berries in a pitcher, and cut 2 plums into bite-sized pieces and add them.

Don’t put brandy in this one as as it will overwhelm the fruit. You will, however, need to add simple syrup to bring out some sweetness.

Start with a quarter cup. Don’t make the sangria too sweet. (If this happens for some reason, well, just add more red wine; things could be worse!)

Refrigerate, serve in festive glasses, and top with seltzer. A sprig of mint complements these fruits, as well.

Happy Weekend!