I’m going to let you in on a little secret. When I decided to throw my first sangria party last year, I had never made a single batch of sangria in my life. I had only even drank sangria maybe three or four times. And I didn’t even bother doing a trial batch before the party. I just went for it, and I’m happy to report that sangria is almost impossible to mess up. Seriously, it’s just a whole slew of wine, booze and fruit. You can’t go wrong.


Sangria Party Week: Red Cherry Sangria & White Peach Sangria | foxeslovelemons.com

Here’s what you need to stir up a batch:

  • Wine – Not at all embarrassed to admit that I use boxed wine for my sangria. Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc for the white sangria and Pinot Noir for the red sangria. It tastes good, is affordable, and there’s the equivalent of four bottles of wine per box, so it’s great for making a really big batch. The important thing is to start with a variety of wine that isn’t too sweet to begin with. So, skip the Riesling here. You’ll be sweetening the vino up with lots of other stuff.
  • Brandy – This is a spirit that is also distilled from grapes (like wine), but has a much higher proof. I tried to do some research as to why brandy is classically added to sangria, but the only thing I can come up with is simply that it makes the sangria a bit more alcoholic. Sounds like a good enough reason to me.
  • Triple Sec – This orange-flavored liqueur just sweetens things up a bit and adds a nice citrus flavor. Last year, I used a $40 bottle of Cointreau. This year, I used a $4 bottle of no-name triple sec. Fairly sure nobody could tell the difference.
  • Fruit – Pretty much any fruit is fair game for sangria, but I like lots of oranges and apples. Peaches and cherries are great (you’ll read about those below). Berries work well, too. When deciding on which fruit to use, think about which fruit you’ll most want to eat after it’s been soaked in wine for two days. Because at some point during your party, you’ll find some of your guests huddled around the sangria jugs, fishing out boozy fruit and eating it. Every damn year. I also like to offer freshly-cut fruit as garnishes for each glass.
  • Sugar or Simple Syrup – This is called for in almost all sangria recipes. However, this year, I didn’t add any additional sweeteners to my sangria. I’m not a huge fan of super-sweet things, and in my opinion, the sweetness of the wine, fruit and triple sec was enough for me (plus, the White Peach Sangria includes orange juice and pineapple juice – also sweet). My guests seemed OK with it too. If you like sweet sangria, by all means, add the sugar. Another option would be to offer sugar cubes on the side, so if a few guests would like a sweeter version, they can add a little sugar to their glasses.
  • Seltzer or something bubbly –  This isn’t required, but I like it. It gives the sangria a punch-like quality. It also dilutes the alcohol a little bit, which means you can drink more of it. I use Diet 7-Up or Diet Sprite to add some calorie-free fizzy action, while also adding even more fruit flavor.

With these guidelines in mind, here’s what I made this year. Don’t forget to join me for the rest of the week, where I’ll be telling you about all of the food I served this year!

Sangria Party Week: Red Cherry Sangria | foxeslovelemons.com

Red Cherry Sangria

  • 1-1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted
  • 4 bottles dry red wine (I used pinot noir)
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup triple sec (orange liqueur)
  • 3 apples, sliced
  • 3 oranges, sliced
  • 6 cups diet lemon-lime soda or seltzer
  1. Place cherries in large beverage dispenser or jug. Using a wooden spoon, crush and muddle the cherries a little bit so they release their juices.
  2. Stir in wine, brandy and triple sec. Add apples and oranges. Refrigerate 24 – 48 hours. Stir in soda or seltzer just before serving.

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Sangria Party Week: White Peach Sangria | foxeslovelemons.com

White Peach Sangria

  • 3 ripe white peaches, peeled and pitted
  • 4 bottles dry white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
  • 1-1/2 cups brandy
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup triple sec (orange liqueur)
  • 3 apples, sliced
  • 3 oranges, sliced
  • 3 white peaches, sliced
  • 6 cups diet lemon-lime soda or seltzer
  1. Place peeled and pitted peaches in blender with a few splashes of wine. Puree until smooth.
  2. In large beverage dispenser or jug, stir together peach puree, remaining wine, brandy, orange juice, pineapple juice and triple sec. Add apples, oranges and sliced peaches. Refrigerate 24 – 48 hours. Stir in soda or seltzer just before serving.

Adapted from Bobby Flay

Sangria Party Week 2013 | foxeslovelemons.com

Sangria Party Week: