Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Sips & Shots: Sangria

A fruited wine beverage, Sangria has as many variations as it has makers. The downside, generally speaking, is that to make good Sangria you need time. Namely, time for the fruit to mix and meld with the other ingredients. But what if you want Sangria now, and you’ve got all the parts but you’d rather drink it tonight as opposed to tomorrow? Are you doomed to a passable but not spectacular bottled version? Is there a happy medium between 8-hours and a screw-top bottle?

I think so.

In fact, my theory is that you can “fake” the steeping period by the application of gentle heat to the fruit and any other items you are adding to the wine base (because in addition to a variety of fruits and their juices, brandy, spices or even some flavored vodka could be used). In this scenario, you could then have a very flavorful Sangria in an hour or so, instead of overnight. Plus, you can make just enough for a drink or two (or a person or two) without needing to make an entire pitcher.

Red Sangria for 2

Combine in a small saucepan:

1 lime, cut into slices
2 strawberries, hulled and halved
a couple chunks of pineapple
1 Tbsp white sugar
2 Tbsp hot water
Small cinnamon stick (optional)

Bring this mix to a gentle simmer then reduce heat to low. Use a muddler or wooden spoon to gently break up the fruit. After about 10 minutes, add

1-2 oz vanilla vodka

turn off the burner and let the mixture sit for another 10-15 minutes.

Pour the fruit mix (sans cinnamon stick) into a glass jar or carafe or divide between two tall glasses. Pour in

4-6 oz. red table wine per glass

and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Serve with more fruit, if desired, and enjoy your drink!

Variation: White Sangria for 2

Substitute a handful of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries for the lemon and pineapple in the red version and skip the cinnamon stick. Use Apple Brandy instead of the vodka and a white wine for the red.

Compared to the bottled Sangria I picked up for comparison, both of my versions (actually, all four since I tried each fruit/liquor combo with each wine just out of curiosity) were less sweet than the pre-made. You could add orange juice (red) or white grape juice (white) if you wanted a fruitier, sweeter beverage or add club soda or some other fizzy drink for a bubbly version.

Jennifer Walker
Jennifer Walker

  1. Ahhh Sangria. I still have some un-fond memories of my first and last experience drinking Sangria, while celebrating my 21st b-day.

    Not a good thing to overdo and to mix with Dorito’s I discovered! (And I would recommend not overdoing the drinking at all these days.) Still your recipe sounds tame enough. I may have to try it again. Thanks Jennifer.

  2. Jennifer
    That recipe sounds wonderful. I love sangria and serve it. Last year I invited some friends over who claimed that they don’t like to drink much over for Cuban sloppy joes and served sangria that was doused liberally with carbonated Italian grapefruit soda. They drank heavily (it was a hot day) and all was right with the world for 2 hours.

    A few years ago I had a dozen friends for brunch (not enough chairs) and served white sangria. That was a hit too. Nobody minded there wasn’t enough chairs.

    I think it’s time to celebrate something else…maybe that the temperature has dipped considerably and/or my baby greyhound is turning 12.

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