4 Summer Sangrias
Spain’s traditional wine punch, sangria, has enjoyed a resurgence in bars and restaurants over the past decade. The best of these sangrias are light and quaffable, often punched up with additional spirits, citrus and effervescence to accent the wine’s flavors.
Thankfully, the modern sangria has moved from the cloying, overly sweet templates of years past. These new sangrias have a contemporary cocktail-culture sensibility, which makes them remarkably versatile. It’s one of the reasons sangria remains among the world’s most popular warm-weather drinks: It can be riffed upon endlessly, depending on your tastes and ingredients available.
The following recipes feature not just red wine, but also white, rosé and even Sherry. So break out the pitchers and the punchbowls, and try these refreshing blends all summer long.
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Adapted from Scott Rixe, bar manager, Poppy, Seattle
This sangria includes plenty of fresh summer berries and citrus to cut down on sweetness and balance out the classic red wine mix. Cachaça adds “grassy, earthy and vegetal flavors,” says Rixie, noting that the flavors pair well with the wine’s natural pepper and dark fruit notes. Cream Sherry blends in with a rich, warming spice note.
In terms of presentation, go lavish. “Garnish with all the fruits and flowers you’ve got,” says Rixie.
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- ¾ cup simple syrup
- 2 bottles (750-ml) red wine (Tempranillo or Tempranillo/Cab blend recommended)
- 1 cup Cachaça
- ¼ cup Cream Sherry
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
In a blender, combine the strawberries, raspberries and simple syrup. Purée, then fine-strain. Discard the pulp.
In a large pitcher, pour in the strained fruit. Add remaining ingredients and ice. Stir to combine. Garnish with citrus wheels and strawberry slices, or “all the fruits and flowers you’ve got.” Serves 12.
Adapted from Thea Goldberg, general manager, EMILY, Brooklyn, NY
This is a rare sangria served shaken, and not in a pitcher. “Pineapple juice tends to froth up a lot [when] shaken with ice, and that’s one of the things we like about this drink,” says Goldberg. Shake aggressively for the appropriately fluffy texture, she says. Riesling adds flavor, while apple brandy balances the sweetness with a bit of boozy punch.
- Diced green apple
- Sliced grapes
- Korean chili pepper flakes
- Mint sprigs
- 1 cup off-dry Riesling
- 1¼ cup pineapple juice
- ½ cup apple brandy
- ¼ cup simple syrup
In a bowl, toss apples and grapes with Korean chili flakes. Cover and set aside.
Pour ingredients (except garnish) into a 750-ml bottle, and cap. This can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. (You can use the Riesling bottle. Just decant the remaining wine.)
To serve, gently shake mixture. Pour 6 ounces into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, and pour contents of shaker (including ice) into a stemless wine glass. Garnish each drink with spiced fruit and a mint sprig. Serves 4.
Adapted From Van Zarr, bar manager, Rye KC, Leawood, KS
You don’t see many sangrias that include rosé, let alone still, sparkling and fortified versions. Zarr sought to create something light and refreshing. “I wanted to make a sangria that wasn’t a regular white or red, something that I would enjoy drinking on our beautiful patio,” he says.
- 1 bottle (750-ml) rosé wine (preferably Syrah-based)
- 3 ounces white whiskey
- 1 cup white grape juice
- 1½ ounces Lillet Rosé
- 1½ ounces Dolin vermouth blanc
- 1 ounce pineapple juice
- 2½ ounces simple syrup
- 6 lemons, cut into wheels
- 1½ pints diced strawberries
- Sparkling brut rosé, to top
In a container with a lid, stir together all ingredients except sparkling rosé. Cover, refridgerate and let infuse for 24–36 hours.
To serve, pour into a large pitcher (or two smaller pitchers), and scoop in ice. Top each serving with sparkling rosé. Garnish with sliced strawberries and lemon wheels. Serves 6
Adapted from Adam Stearns, resort mixologist, Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Guests here can order a “sangria basket,” with mini bottles of various sangrias (including this one) and fixings to top or garnish the drinks. This variation, made with dry Sherry and infused with fresh cilantro and pineapple, “has all the elements that make you feel as if you are in a tropical Spanish villa,” says Stearns.
- 1 bottle (750-ml) Manzanilla Sherry
- 9 ounces Cointreau
- 18 ounces pineapple juice
- 1½ cups lime juice
- 9 ounces agave nectar
- 10 cinnamon sticks
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 pineapple, sliced into quarters and cored
- Sparkling wine, to top (if desired)
In a large container with a lid, combine all ingredients except sparkling wine. Cover, refridgerate and let steep for 24–36 hours.
To serve, strain into a large pitcher, and scoop in ice. Top each drink with sparkling wine, if desired. Offer garnishes like fresh berries and cilantro sprigs. Serves 15.
- 1Sangria in Rio
- 2Tropical Sangria
- 3Sunset Sangria
- 4Manzanilla-Pineapple Sangria