Monday 24 July 2017

3 Summer Sangrias

I'm so excited to share this post. I've been meaning to do this for years and it finally worked out. I developed some exquisite sangria recipes that are perfect for outdoor summer get-togethers. This passed weekend several of my neighbours helped me finish them and provide their feedback. Needless to say we had a lot of fun. It was an exercise in responsible decorum, I can assure you. Every one of these turned out excellent. We made sangrias with red wine, white wine and a rosé. Each with it's own blend of liquor and fresh ingredients to suit the wine's individual character. 

Originally of Spanish origin, sangria is essentially a wine punch. Wine is mixed with liquor and fresh fruit then left to marinate for at least a few hours (overnight is recommended) before being served with ice. Sometimes carbonated soda is added. Personally, I actually prefer it with club soda. If gives a light, fresh bubbliness which I love. You can choose to omit it or you can even substitute ginger ale. As for the fruit, the general rule is you must have at least two: one sweet and one citrusy.  

As with any recipe, only use wines you enjoy drinking. The flavour of your wine will be the main flavour of your sangria. That being said, I don't recommend using your most expensive wines for this process. A good quality wine is probably best not to be tampered with and appreciated for what it is.  

So if you are of legal drinking age and enjoy responsibly, I recommend that you give any of these a try. They are sure to be a crowd pleaser. 


Here is the recipe of the spiced red wine sangria. Of the three, this recipe is the most traditional. The flavour is closest to the sangrias that I sampled in my personal experience in North-East Spain. The special ingredient in this sangria is a spiced syrup. You make a simple syrup with some whole spices and fresh ginger. It adds deep, complex flavours that really shine in the red wine. It's a step that I wholly recommend. If, however you'd prefer not to have the spice flavour or just can't be bothered, you can substitute with a tablespoon or two of sugar and mix it in until completely dissolved. You can literally use any red wine but some examples that work well are garnacha, malbec and cabarnet sauvignon. 

To make the spiced syrup, you will need:

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 thumb-size piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 3" cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole cloves

In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar as it comes to a simmer. Let it boil until it reduces by about a third and develops a syrupy texture (about fifteen minutes). Allow to cool then strain and store in a glass jar.

Now that that's sorted, here's what you'll need for the sangria:

1-750 ml bottle of cheap yet drinkable red wine
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup orange liqueur (such as Cointreau, Triple Sec or Grand Marnier)
1/2 apple, diced

1/2 orange, sliced
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/4 cup spiced syrup (or 1-2 tbsp of sugar)
carbonated soda water/ginger ale (optional)

In a pitcher, combine the wine, brandy, orange liqueur, apple, orange, lemon and spiced syrup. Stir to combine. Refrigerate for 5 hours to overnight. Add ice and if desired top up with carbonated soda water or ginger ale. 


This rosé sangria is bursting with fruit flavours. The combination of red grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries and peach plays so well in the sweet, fragrant rosé flavour profile. There are floral and sour notes throughout the sweetness that makes this particularly enjoyable. You can use literally any rosé you enjoy for this recipe.

1-750 ml bottle of cheap yet drinkable rosé
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 red grapefruit, sliced
1 peach, diced
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
1-2 tbsp sugar
carbonated soda water/ginger ale (optional) 

In a pitcher, combine the wine, vodka and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the grapefruit, peach, strawberries and blueberries. Refrigerate for 5 hours to overnight. Add ice and, if desired, top up with carbonated soda water or ginger ale. 


This is the white wine sangria and the most summery and refreshing of the three. It combines watermelon, cucumber, fresh mint, lime and tart raspberries. The flavours are so bright and clean and the colours are beautiful. You can use any white wine for this but some examples that work are Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. 

1-750 ml bottle of cheap yet drinkable white wine
1/4 cup St-Germain elderflower liqueur 
1/4 cup gin 
4" section of English cucumber, sliced
1 cup watermelon, diced
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 lime, sliced
3/4 cup of fresh mint leaves
1-2 tbsp sugar
carbonated soda water/ginger ale (optional)

In a pitcher, combine the wine, St-Germain, gin and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bruise the mint by whacking it a few times with the back of a wooden spoon or the dull side of a knife. This will unleash the aromatic essential oils. Add the cucumber, watermelon, raspberries, lime and bruised mint.  Refrigerate for 5 hours to overnight. Add ice and, if desired, top up with carbonated soda water or ginger ale. 

That's it! Pretty easy, right? I hope I've inspired you to make your own sangrias this summer. If not, why not enjoy any time of year? You could develop your own recipes with seasonal ingredients. The red wine sangria recipe would make a suitable drink for Christmas or Thanksgiving time with its spiced apple characteristics. Have fun with it and be creative. Don't let any of your sangria fruit go to waste either! They are the best part to nosh on while you enjoy your drink. Whatever you do, enjoy responsibly. 



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