It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up outside with a chilled glass of sangria and good company. A classic Spanish drink, sangria is a refreshing mix of wine, fruit, and flavorful liquors. With its sweet and slightly acidic taste, sangria is a staple at outdoor BBQs, pool parties, and outdoor celebrations. To unlock the secrets to perfectly paired sangria, let’s explore the essential ingredients and tips for making the perfect sangria, ways to pair it with food, and some creative variations from around the world.
What is Sangria?
Sangria is a popular fruity beverage made with wine, fruit, and sometimes brandy, triple sec, or other liquors. The most common type of sangria is made with red wine, but white and rosé wines can also be used. The most common fruits used to flavor sangria are orange, lemon, lime or other types of citrus. The combination of the wine, fruit, and liqueur creates a balanced flavor of sweet and slightly acidic.
Essential Ingredients for Sangria
For making sangria, the best way to start is by choosing quality wines and liquors. Avoid overly sweet wines and opt for a dry red or white wine. The same goes for liquors — choose quality over quantity. Choose sweet liquors such as triple sec or brandy and avoid any that are too sweet. When adding fruit to the mix, use fresh, seasonal and ripe fruits. To add some extra flavor to your sangria, add spices like cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom, or herbs like rosemary or thyme.
Tips for Making the Perfect Sangria
When making your sangria, start with a good base. Combine the wine and liquor in a large pitcher and mix well. Then, add the fruits and spices. Let the mixture sit for at least one hour in the refrigerator so that the flavors can blend together. If you want a stronger flavor, add some more liqueur or fruit.
When serving your sangria, chill it well — ideally over ice. For added flavor and sweetness, add a splash of fruit juice or soda. You can also experiment with adding sparkling wine or champagne for a fizzy and festive touch.
Pairing Sangria with Food
Sangria is a versatile drink that pairs well with many types of food. For a savory pairing, serve your sangria with grilled chicken or fish, cheeses, or lightly spiced dishes. For a sweet pairing, serve it with desserts like tarts, cakes, or fruit-based dishes. It is also delicious served with a dessert of fresh fruit.
Mocktail Versions of Sangria
For those who don’t drink alcohol, there are plenty of delicious mocktail versions of sangria. Instead of wine or liquor, use sparkling juices, ginger ale or non-alcoholic wines. You can also substitute the wine with fruit juices, syrups or teas. Be sure to add plenty of fresh and flavorful fruits to give your mocktail a great flavor. A mocktail sangria recipe is below:
- 2 cups cranberry juice
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 orange, 1 lemon, 1 lime (all sliced)
Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve over ice and garnish with citrus slices.
Sangria Recipes to Try at Home
If you’re looking for a classic red sangria, you can use dry red wine, brandy, orange liqueur, lemon juice, sugar and oranges, lemons and limes. You can read this classic sangria recipe and see if this is a good option for your next get-together.
For an alternate idea, try a white sangria. Use dry white wine, triple sec, lemon juice, strawberries and mint leaves for a sweet drink to share.
Rosemary Sangria Recipe
To make a unique sangria recipe with rosemary, you will need pear juice, pinot grigio, ginger ale, a pear, and rosemary.
In a large pitcher pour in the bottle of wine. Add in the pear juice. Stir.
Pour in ginger ale to the top. Slice pears thinly removing the core and drop them into the top of the sangria. Add two sprigs of rosemary and serve cold.
- 32 fl oz pear juice
- 1 bottle pinot grigio wine
- 32 fl oz ginger ale
- 1 pear; sliced
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- In a large pitcher pour in the bottle of wine. Add in the pear juice. Stir.
- Pour in ginger ale to the top. Slice pears thinly removing the core and drop into the top of the sangria.
- Add two sprigs of rosemary and serve cold.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 0g
Sangria is a classic and refreshing drink that is perfect for outdoor gatherings and celebrations. From red and white wines to mocktail versions, there are many types of sangria to choose from. To make the perfect sangria, start with quality ingredients, add flavorful fruits and spices, and experiment with different liquors. And don’t forget to pair it with your favorite dish for the perfect balance of sweet and savory. So grab a pitcher, gather your friends, and enjoy the perfect sip of sangria.