There’s something about sangria. Even though there are plenty of other wine cocktails, something about sangria in summertime just works. It can be made a million different ways and is the perfect pitcher potion that can be enjoyed without any fancy serving required. This summer, white wine sangria is all the rage. Today we’re going to break down what it is, the best starter recipe, a few examples of white sangria recipes and tips for finding good white wine for sangria and how to make the perfect pitcher.
Most of us think of wine with some fruit in it when we hear the word “sangria”, but it actually goes beyond this. Way beyond. Sangria is a cocktail, usually made in pitchers, that combines many ingredients including brandy and sweetener. Sangria, at its most basic, has five parts: wine, sweetener, fruit, liquor, juice.
The wine can be any color, sparking or still.This summer? It's white wine sangria that has everyone talking.
Sweetener can be a simple syrup (adding granulated sugar to sangria often results in it settling and being gritty) or something like maple syrup or flavored molasses. Whatever it is, avoid natural sweeteners. Plant-based sweeteners, like Stevia, often impart bitterness. If you must use an artificial sweetener, Sweet ‘n Low or Equal are great options.
When it comes to fruit, the sky’s pretty much the limit although avoiding bananas is a good idea. Between the texture and flavor, bananas will take over sangria and ruin it. When making white sangria, a gorgeous way to use fruit is to freeze it into ice cubes. Want those ice cubes to be perfectly clear? Boil the water prior to freezing it!
Your sangria should be a little boozy, so don’t skip the liquor. Traditional recipes call for brandy but you can use anything you want. Start with light rum, brandy or a flavored liqueur to learn how these interplay with the other flavors.
Match the fruit in your sangria with juice. A white wine sangria with citrus should have citrus juice. Used apples in that white wine sangria recipe? Add apple juice or cider. Natural fruit is often tart so this pronounces the flavor better and adds sweetness.
The Anatomy Of A White Sangria Recipe
You’re going to have a lot of fun when you start making sangria. And, you'll have incredible sangria every time if you follow our base recipe as a guide. Here’s a bare bones, 5 component recipe to start:
In our opinion, the best recipe is this one from our friends at Winedom. It allows for a more rounded out flavor and really brings your sangria to the next level.
Fruit Liqueur or Brandy
Mixer (Soda water, etc.)
How To Make White Sangria
Sangria is pretty simple. You can follow the same process every time no matter what your ingredients.
Add the fruit and wine to a glass pitcher.
Add triple sec, light rum, juice.
Stir. Be gentle so that you don’t muddle the fruit too much.
Add Mixer. If you are using soda water or sparkling wine, skip this step.
Refrigerate overnight for best results.
Add ice and stir gently before serving.
Pro tip: Boil the water first for especially gorgeous ice. If you are feeling particularly creative, freeze some fruit into the ice cubes.
Another tip: When using sparkling wine or soda water, add this right before serving and stir very gently to avoid flattening the carbonated beverage. Also: tonic water and seltzer/soda water are NOT the same thing. Your sangria will taste very funky if you make it with tonic.
Once you’ve made a simple batch, have some fun and play with flavors. The following three recipes were constructed by The Oethical Oenologist.
Summer’s Last Stand
Perfect for Labor Day weekend you won’t lament the end of summer, you’ll get excited for fall!
Sticks & Stones White Sangria
Is there anything better than freshly picked fruit in summer? The joy of biting into a sun warmed peach is pretty much unrivaled. And who hasn’t picked raspberries off the vine only to eat most of them on the way home? This sangria mixes bubbles, peaches and raspberry for a delish take on summer perfect for brunch and beyond. And, no sticky juice or stained fingers with this pristine cocktail!
Sicilian Kitchen White Sangria
If you grew up with or around any Sicilians you know the divine combination of lemon and oregano. This white sangria pays homage to this savory pairing perfect for serving alongside grilled chicken and veggies.
You’ll need to make an oregano tisane to enjoy this sangria. Bruise or cut 1 teaspoon of oregano leaves per 6 fluid ounces of water. Boil water, steep the oregano for 5 minutes.
If you use a Chardonnay for this sangria, which is a dry white, be careful not to use an oaked Chardonnay. The flavors imparted by the oak will overwhelm your lemon oregano sangria and ruin the batch.
Go Forth & Sangria
Once you know the bones of a white sangria recipe it’s simple to put together an amazing batch. Get creative! We have everything you could need for a batch, come visit and let us know what you’re creating.