With summer well underway, you might be looking to expand your repertoire of drinks.
Sangria is a crisp and refreshing reputed to come from Spain. As you’ll discover, though, this is a myth.
Today’s recipe will break down the process of making sangria using white wine and a handful of simple, inexpensive ingredients.
Not only does sangria make the perfect summer drink, but making your own supply ensures you can continue to enjoy this tasty beverage all year round.
When you’re searching for sangria recipes, you’ll come across hundreds of variations. All of the best recipes will include the following ingredients, though:
- Wine (red or white)
- Club soda or similar carbonated beverage
A liqueur is often suggested as an optional extra.
Sangria is cheap and easy to make. Lovers of white wine will appreciate the way the acidity of a great white will complement the fruity flavors of apple and citrus. This makes a great mixture and slips down perfectly on a scorching summer’s day.
If you’re looking to add a tropical twist to your sangria, add some mango, kiwi, or pineapple.
You should always choose wine that you would happily drink by the glass. The following are all good choices for making sangria:
- Pinot grigio
- Sauvignon blanc
Although the fruits will mask the flavor of the wine to some extent, you should not use a poor quality wine. Despite the fruit content, bad flavors will still be detectable, resulting in an unappetizing cocktail in your glass.
So, before we outline how to make sangria like a bartender, where does this beverage come from?
Where Does Sangria Come From?
Although many people believe that sangria is a Spanish invention, this is not true. There is no official recipe for sangria in Spain. Instead, many bars in Spain serve tinto de verano, a blended drink similar to sangria containing red wine, ice, and lemon soda.
Sangria appeared in its first form over 2000 years ago. When the Romans travelled along the Iberian Peninsula, they would plant vineyards along the way. The water in those times was unsuitable for drinking. To fortify the unsanitary water, the Romans would often add wine, herbs, and spices.
The modern form of sangria first started appearing in the U.K. and France in the eighteenth century.
By 1964, sangria had penetrated the United States, famously appearing at the World Fair in New York that year.
In 2022, sangria is popular the world over, mainly due to the ease of making sangria at home with just a handful of cheap ingredients. This means that many Spaniards enjoy drinking sangria, even if sangria is targeted at tourists instead of locals.
Since its invention, sangria has gone through many changes. You now find sangria recipes made using red and white wines. Some sangria recipes use cider in place of wine.
With that snapshot in place, how you can rustle up some homemade sangria with your favorite bottle of white?
How to Make Sangria at Home Using White Wine
Most sangria recipes use red wine, so we wanted to give you the opportunity to experiment with something different.
Perhaps the key benefit of this recipe is its simplicity. You’ll need nothing beyond a large pitcher, some cheap ingredients – white wine, apple brandy, fruit, and ice – and around thirty minutes of your time. In return, you’ll get an appetizing concoction to make a conversation piece at your next summer dinner party.
Throughout the recipe below, we offer various substitutions. Don’t be afraid to switch things out and get creative!
Beyond the citrus base of sangria, strawberries, peaches, and apples all make great choices. You could also experiment using some blackberries, oranges, plums, and figs. Almost any fruit will work, as long as it blends well.
The organic cane sugar suggested will give a wonderfully sweet kick. Alternatively, try using the following sweeteners:
- Coconut sugar
- Maple syrup
While sangria should be consumed within a couple of days if you want to enjoy it at its best, you could easily make some the day before a dinner party so you have less to do on the day.
Now for the main event. Grab the following supplies and have fun making some homemade sangria.
What You Need
- 1 medium lime (thinly sliced into rounds)
- 1 medium lemon (thinly sliced into rounds)
- ¼ cup organic cane sugar
- ¼ cup apple brandy
- ½ medium organic green apple (cored then chopped with skin left on)
- 1 medium ripe peach
- 1 cup strawberries (sliced)
- 750ml bottle dry white wine
What You Need for Serving
- Ice (frozen berries make a good alternative)
- Sparkling water
- Fresh mint
What To Do
- Place the sugar, lemon, and lime in a pitcher. Use a muddler to mix the ingredients. Alternatively, crush the ingredients with a wooden spoon.
- Pour in the apple brandy. Muddle the mixture, allowing it to combine for 30 seconds or so.
- Add the citrus juice, apple, and strawberries. Incorporate the mixture by stirring it thoroughly.
- Add the white wine. Stir again.
- At this point, taste your mixture and tweak the flavor to taste by introducing more acidity or sweetener. Stir again, ensuring that the ingredients are completely combined.
- Throw in some ice or frozen berries. Stir the sangria again.
- Serve with mint and ice for optional garnish.
- Enjoy your sangria within a couple of days to get the most from this lip-smacking drink.
Techniques for Making Great Homemade Sangria
Here are some simple tips for getting the most out of your homemade sangria using white wine.
- Always use a good quality white wine when making sangria. Try Riesling, Pinot Gris, chardonnay, or sauvignon blanc. Avoid the temptation to use cheap white wine.
- If you don’t have any chilled white wine on hand and you need to whip up some sangria in a hurry, prepare it using the above recipe and then serve over some frozen berries with lashings of ice.
- As a substitute for the brandy in this recipe, you could use Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or elderflower wine.
- In addition to the suggested citrus fruits above, you should add a couple of cups of extra fruit to your sangria. Pineapple, papaya, and apple all work well. Mangoes are also tasty options. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are also crowd-pleasers.
- To make your sangria drier, use more club soda and less sugar.
- For a sweeter sangria, add some lemon and lime soda or ginger ale.
- Spicy and savory appetizers like tapas, meatballs, cheese, and shrimps all complement sangria wonderfully.
We hope that today’s white wine sangria recipe has given you some inspiration to experiment with this classic drink.
You should also now be clear that the drink is not Spanish in origin, despite the enduring myth.
Like with any recipe, you should get creative and experiment. Use the above framework to create your own signature sangria recipe to wow your guests this summer.
Before you head off today, bookmark our blog. We have a busy content calendar here at Slow Wine Magazine, and we’ll be bringing you plenty of informative guides to the best equipment as well as lots of detailed serving guides to inspire you. We’ll see you soon!
1) How much alcohol does sangria contain?
Sangria has a low alcohol content. This makes it a great drink for summer parties and daytime gatherings. Even if you add brandy, the alcohol content of sangria is still less than you would find in a glass of wine – between 5% and 10% rather than the 12% typical ABV content of wines.
2) What fruits are best in white wine sangria?
The versatility of sangria is one of its key selling points. Use anything from peaches and diced strawberries to pears, apples, or sliced citrus fruit. The best option is to stick with seasonal produce. That way you’ll get the freshest possible sangria. Opt for very ripe fruit to enhance the sweetness of your sangria. The longer the fruit soaks in the wine the better, and the more colorful the fruit, the more attractive the end result in your cocktail glass.
3) How should I store sangria?
The longer you allow your sangria to sit, the better it will taste. Let it chill in the fridge before serving to ensure it comes out sweeter and even more flavorful. You can keep sangria in a pitcher in the refrigerator for three days. Do not add carbonated ingredients until directly before serving to get the fizziest possible sangria. You can freeze sangria to use later thawed or blended.
4) What food complements sangria?
Serve sangria with a cheese board or a charcuterie board. Seafood also makes a great pairing with sangria. If you’re feeling extravagant, you could serve with a lobster.