Sangria: The Answer to All Your Summer (Beverage) Problems

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Is it too hot?  Sangria.  Is that bottle of wine you opened a week ago no longer drinkable?  Sangria.  Cheap wine?  Lousy wine?  Sangria.  Fresh summer fruit fading fast?  Sangria.  Need a drink that will go far at a party?  Sangria.  Need a mixed drink that will keep for a week in the fridge?  Sangria.

Oh, yes. Sangria is the best. I have been making it regularly ever since I learned how from the owner of the little bistro I was working at 12 years ago. People started requesting that I make it for their parties, and it’s been my go-to for every summer gathering. I’ve made a few different versions, and this drink is so adaptable that there are infinite ways to make it. If I’m being super-honest, I like my own sangria more than any I’ve had in restaurants– they tend to be way too sweet, and a little cheap on the fruit flavors. I’ll share with you the recipe that I like the most, and you can take it from there.

Sangria Recipe

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 bottle of red wine and 1 bottle of white wine— this can seriously be the cheapest wine on the shelf. Do not waste a great bottle of wine this way, but you can also use a good bottle that has been open too long– it’s a great way to save it!
  • 2 organic oranges, sliced thinly into rounds
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed berries— preferably with some cherries in it, too.
  • 1/2 cup triple sec or cointreau or brandy  (and yes, I have successfully made sangria without any of these– but it really is worth it if you can get some!)
  • 1 quart of cherry juice, and using cherry juice concentrate (diluted) is an economical way to go (optional, but recommended)
  • fresh strawberries and/ or other dark-colored fruits (again, optional if you have plenty of frozen berries– but this is a great way to use those strawberries that are languishing in the heat)
  • ice

What to Do:

1. Well, you pretty much just get a huge glass container (like this one, and when I used to make it in such big quantities for parties, I bought one like this) and mix all of these things (besides the ice) together. Stir it up, and taste. Depending on the wine you are using, you may feel the need to make it a little sweeter. Sometimes I make it without the juice, and in that case I need to sweeten it a bit. I use xylitol, but you can use sugar, brown sugar, or raw honey (diluted with water so that it will dissolve in the cold mixture.)
2. If possible, let it sit for an hour or more so the flavors can combine well. It would be totally reasonable to leave it overnight, if you want. We were in a hurry, so shook it with the ice cubes in it, and then ladled the cubes into our glasses so it wouldn’t dilute the rest so much.
3. Serve over lots of ice, and garnish if you like with orange slices or fresh strawberries. Use a ladle to get the berries from the bottom, so there’s a bit of everything in each glass.
4. Be sure to enjoy the wine-soaked fruits at the bottom of your glass!Easy. Delicious. Fresh. Sangria!

And, if you manage to save some, you can put your leftovers in the fridge for tomorrow! Lucky you.
Do you love Sangria? Have you made it before?And-Here-We-Are-Cookbook-Ad-1024x462


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16 Responses to Sangria: The Answer to All Your Summer (Beverage) Problems

  1. Marisa July 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Oh my! This sounds wonderful! I’ve never made sangria before but I’ve always loved it. Do you have a preference of the alcohols you listed? I will definitely be making this sometime soon 🙂

    • Ariana Mullins July 19, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      Marisa, your friends will love you even more than they do now, if that’s even possible! My first choice is definitely cointreau. That is what I have used the most, especially back when I could buy it at TJ’s in California! I heard that grocery stores can now sell liquor in WA, so that is awesome news, as TJs always had such great choices and prices in CA!

  2. Hazel July 19, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    I’ve probably made more Pimms than Sangria at home over the years, but I’ve formed a Supper Club with some friends in my village and one of them made Sangria for the recent Spanish evening, which reminded me how much I like it.

    I’ve never tried it with cherry juice in though- where do you buy that in the UK?

    • Ariana Mullins July 19, 2013 at 10:49 am #

      Hazel, I love the idea of your supper clubs– that sounds like SO much fun! I once bought a bottle of Pimms, made a Pimm’s Cup– I didn’t care for it, so I used the rest of the bottle for making Sangria! I have found cherry juice at Waitrose. Another dark berry juice would also be good, as would pomegranate juice.

      By the way, I have definitely kept your invitation for a cider pressing party on my mind! If there are enough apples this year, please do let me know when you and your group plan to do it– we would love to come, and of course I really look forward to meeting you!

  3. Hazel July 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    Our club is fab! We are a group of women of a similar age, but who don’t meet up very often because of work and children at different schools, etc. We meet about once a month; whoever hosts makes the main course and the others supply starter, deserts and drinks. I suggested a country a month as a theme and it’s worked brilliantly. It’s fun to cook something different without the pressure of a dinner party.

    I’ll look out for the cherry juice, thanks for the tip.

    I was talking about you and the cider pressing just the other day. The apple harvest is looking really good so far, so there should be lots to press. We’re also talking about buying a juice pasteuriser to bottle the juice. At the moment we drink lots straight away and freeze the rest (that doesn’t get turned into (hard)cider) but it’d nice to be able to just open some.

    It would be really great to meet you- you’re welcome to come and stay here. Like couchsurfing but with an introduction 🙂

  4. Karen Meyers July 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    Ariana, I found your blog when googling info about Bury St. Edmunds, I am moving there with my husband and son in a couple of weeks from the US. I can’t wait to explore the town especially after seeing some of your great pics and reading about your experiences! Maybe we could meet for a coffee (or probably a cup of tea, being that it is England after all!) after we get settled, I’d love that.
    Anyways, my husband is Spanish and his sister gave me her sangria recipe. I use red wine with a bit of peach schnapps and fresh or canned peaches. I marinate the peaches in the schnapps overnight and then add to the wine with a bit of club soda just before serving. If I am using canned peaches then I don’t add any sweetener because I include the syrup from the can and that makes it sweet enough. If using fresh peaches than I substitute Sprite for the club soda to make it a little sweeter.

  5. Andi Houston June 1, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    Love sangria! Around here Sangria is all about the citrus. The juice from the final bucket of tangerines from my back yard went into a cooler of sangria for a big party I went to, along with some homemade orange liqueur and sliced oranges and lemons. Next time I’ll try cherry juice!

  6. Lisa July 4, 2015 at 12:07 am #

    I made this tonight. First time every making Sangria. I love it. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Renee Kohley May 3, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

    This is such a great serving idea! I always forget how easy sangria is to make – it is just perfect for all summer long!


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