Martha Stewart's Sunny Drink Pairings For Her 'Perfect' Paella

Martha Stewart endures as one of the most trusted sources for all things involving home cooking and entertaining. And for good reason. Her vibe is aspirational, but her advice remains simple and makes intuitive sense. Moreover, she's consistent. For example, the failsafe advice Stewart offers up for selecting wines for a holiday party is to keep it simple by offering one red and one white — regardless of what you might be serving on the menu, per Food & Wine. The idea is that this offers just enough choices, while, at the same time, not overwhelming guests with too many choices.

Likewise, in coming up with what she called on Twitter the "perfect menu for a paella party," Stewart went with — you guessed it, red sangria and a white. Of course, both white and red sangrias happen to pair perfectly, from a traditional wine-pairing standpoint, with mixed seafood, poultry, and pork paella (via Wine Folly). And that is, indeed, the paella that Stewart is seen preparing on an outdoor grill in Season 1, Episode 8 of "Watch Martha Cooks," via the Roku channel, along with a sunshine yellow gazpacho and the aforesaid sangrias. Sure, it's not exactly summer at this time of the year in her neck of the woods, but why would that stop Stewart, or you, for that matter, from pairing paella with the perfect sunny sangria drinks?

Seasonal fruit sparkles in her sunny sangrias

On Season 1, Episode 8 of "Watch Martha Cooks" on the Roku channel, Stewart assembles her idea of the perfect paella party, and it features two sunny-looking sangrias, regardless of the season. Joined by the apparent cooking novice, Kevin Sharkey, Stewart demonstrates how to make the red and the white version, and it's almost shockingly simple. 

Stewart begins by clarifying that sangria is a beverage consisting of sliced/chopped fruit soaked in a small amount of a liqueur, a bit of sugar, and either red or white wine. For the red sangria, Stewart uses two bottles of red wine and a half cup of brandy. For the white, Stewart uses two bottles of white wine with a half cup each of cognac and Grand Marnier. For the fruit in each case, Stewart recommends using fresh, seasonal fruit.

The famous cook also suggests that it's best if the fruit looks "pretty." For her white sangria, that means using perfectly formed cantaloupe melon balls (if in season) and elegantly slender orange slices. For her red sangria, Stewart also uses orange slices, plus a cored apple, thinly sliced — using a mandoline if possible. In both cases, you'll want to make sure to use amply sized vessels so as to avoid spillover when stirring, and for best results, cut the fruit and let it soak with the sugar and the liqueur overnight. Then add the wine just before serving, et voila!