This is the quintessential "party punch" in Spain. It is usually consumed only in summer, but I like to serve this red-wine– based beauty any time of the year because it livens up any fiesta. I switch out the organic fruits in the recipe according to the season, choosing whatever is fresh at the market or in the garden.
1. Place the sugar and brandy in a large punch bowl and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the red wine, cinnamon stick, orange juice, and fruit; allow to macerate in the refrigerator for an hour or longer.
2. Add the ginger ale and soda water. Cover and refrigerate to chill.
3. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving unless you prefer a stronger cinnamon flavor. Add ice. Ladle into cups and garnish with a fruit wedge if so inclined.
Helpful Tip: Freeze a block of ice (in a small, shallow bowl, for example) and use that instead of ice cubes. The melting ice mass won't water down your punch as quickly and, according to mixologists, "softens" the tones of the punch more steadily than individual ice cubes.
This sangria goes great with a Spanish-inspired tapas menu, including a Spanish Red Onion and Orange Salad, a Catalan Style Tortilla, Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley Sauce, and an Apple Plum Brandy Cake.