What is Sangria?
Sangria is a beverage made from wine that originated in Spain and Portugal and it’s delicious! It’s made with wine, fruit, additional spirits and sometimes a little sparkling water. While Sangria is usually made with red wine (you can see a recipe for the traditional red version here), you can also find versions that start with white or even rose wine. That’s what you have here – White Wine Sangria.
Ingredients in White Wine Sangria
Wine is the central ingredient of sangria, so pick well. You could honestly choose any white wine that you like, but I recommend a Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Moscato or Sauvignon Blanc. All of these wines have fruity notes that makes them perfect sangria wines, balancing and bouncing off the fruit added to the drink.
You can also pick whatever fruit you like, but peaches, grapes and berries are perfect and all in season in the summertime. In addition to the wine and fruit, sangria is fortified with spirits and here I’ve used an orange liqueur (Cointreau) and some brandy. You could use any triple sec in this recipe and many other triple secs have a lower alcohol content than Cointreau if you plan on drinking a few glasses of sangria.
I find that sangria is sweet enough with the addition of the orange liqueur and fruit, but if you have a sweet tooth, you might sweeten the sangria with a simple syrup – a simple mixture of sugar and water.
Fruit for Sangria
Be sure to wash your fruit before preparing it for the sangria. When cutting the fruit into pieces, remember that people will be eating the fruit so make it a size that is easy to eat out of a glass. Or, you could do what I do and offer a spoon along with the glass so that your guests can spoon the fruit out when they have finished drinking.
Making Sangria Ahead of Time
Sangria is a perfect party drink because you can make a big batch of it AND you can make it ahead of time. In fact, it’s better to serve sangria after it’s had a little while to sit and marinate. When making it ahead, just be sure not to add any ice cubes to the pitcher which would just water the drink down. Chill it in the refrigerator and pour it over ice into glasses when you are ready to serve. Sangria will keep for a few days in the refrigerator. Garnish with mint leaves and you have a delicious and beautiful summer cocktail.