Sangria is a fantastic entertaining drink in the summer. It’s a combination of fruit juices and wine that, together, make a sweet and refreshing beverage. You can make sangria with all kinds of different fruits and can use either red or white whine for the base. You can also make them in large batches ahead of a party, so you don’t need to worry about any last-minute preparation. This particular Red, White and Blue Sangria is inspired by two of my favorite summertime things: lemonade and the Fourth of July. The “white” portion of the drink is white wine, while the “red” and “blue” elements are fresh berries that are added before serving.
The light, refreshing sangria starts with a lemonade base, made with a vanilla simple syrup, which is added to white wine. Sauvignon Blanc is the best choice for this particular sangria. Most sauvignon blancs are not aged in oak, resulting in wines that are lighter bodied and better suited to mixing with additional ingredients. Sauvignon blancs also typically have prominent notes of citrus (with some tending towards either tart green apple notes or sweet tropical fruit flavors), which blend very well with the lemon juice that I used in this recipe. Fresh lemon juice is always going to give you the best flavor and the juice should always be strained to remove from any pulp.
I usually make my sangria a few hours before I want to serve it, then store it in the refrigerator to make sure it is well-chilled. If you are making it closer to serving time, you will probably want to throw a few ice cubes in it. Ice cubes will not negatively effect the sangria in any way – but you will want to drink it a touch faster so that the drink doesn’t get too watered down. This recipe makes a relatively small batch, however it can easily be doubled or quadrupled to make enough for larger parties.
If you want to make a nonalcoholic version for kids, simply replace the wine with equal parts lemon juice and water (making lemonade) and sweeten to taste.
Red, White and Blue Sangria
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups white wine (pref. Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup fresh, strained lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
In a small sauce pan, combine sugar and water and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.
In a pitcher, combine white wine, lemon juice and 1 cup of cooled syrup (you may have extra syrup). Stir to blend and chill until ready to serve.
Berries can be added to the pitcher or divided into individual glasses.
Recipe can be doubled/tripled/etc. for larger batches.