White Summer Sangria

Friday, May 25, 2012

Even though the official start of summer is about a month away, the Memorial Day weekend serves as the start of its prelude here. The sticky heat acts as a warning of the wet, hot, American summer that is to come. These humid, almost-summer nights are almost suffocating. And what better way to cool off that than with a cold, white sangria? So to kick off the Memorial Day weekend here is a recipe for a sangria full of summer flavors.


White sangria is extremely easy to make, you just need to give it some time to marinate to allow it to penetrate the fruit and in turn infuse the drink with its juices. You can use a variety of different fruits or just a few. I like to use the flavors that tend complement the white wine: apples, peaches, citrus or mango. You can also add or substitute what's in season or what you can find in the store or at the market, including strawberries, melon, pears, plums, or even grapes.


In this recipe I used a South African chenin blanc from the Paarl region. It is a dry, very crisp white wine, with a very faint hint of altogether pleasant bitterness. It is otherwise quite neutral in flavor, lending itself well to sangria as it is able to absorb the flavors of the different fruits. This particular one caught my eye with its name, "Tormentoso" and an endearingly grotesque looking fish on the label. It is so named because of where it comes from: according to the label, the southernmost tip of South Africa was named Cabo Tormentoso by the Portuguese explorers. It means Cape of Storms, but can also mean its English counterpart - torment - because the grape has grown in an unlikely climate, its roots tormented by the rocky soil.


A few weeks ago, we were sent to try out Cascal, which is a carbonated, fruity soda made with fermented juices (with no sugar other than from the juice). I thought the drink would pair well with sangria while adding a hint of fizziness. There are five flavors altogether. The flavors we used here are Bright Citrus, which in addition to the citrus has a rich pineapple flavor, and Crisp White, which is dry and crisp, less sweet, with notes of pear, and of all things, petals (it claims magnolia). The latter is my favorite for this recipe, and its flavors pair very well with the fruit in the sangria. If you can't get your hands on some Cascal, or other low-sugar, fizzy beverage, you can use club soda. Or, for a stronger sangria, you can dispense with soda altogether.

As white sangria is served chilled, sometimes with ice, I added a few bits of frozen strawberries instead for added flavor.


White Summer Sangria
(Serves 4-6)

You will need:
1 cup strawberries, chopped into small cubes
1 green apple, cored and chopped into cubes
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped into cubes
Other fruit, e.g.: plum, pear, peach, etc., cubed
1/8 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup brandy
1 bottle dry white wine
12 oz Cascal or club soda
Mint, for garnish

1. Reserve 1/2 cup chopped strawberries. Place the remaining fruit into a punch bowl or a pitcher. Stir together agave syrup and brandy and pour over the fruit. Add the wine and stir. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. Freeze the reserved 1/2 cup strawberries (to use in place of ice cubes).
2. To serve, spoon some fruit into the bottom of a wine glass. Add a few frozen strawberry slices. Fill the glass 1/2 full with sangria. Top off with Cascal or club soda. Add a few mint leaves to each glass and serve.


  1. Yuuumoramaaaa!

    Your recipes and pictures are just -- le sigh! -- gorgeous, plain and simple!

    Now, tell me, will you be watching crazy, kitschy Eurovision this weekend? :D

  2. The fish on the wine bottle also looks slightly 'tormentoso!' These sangria look so refreshing. Cheers from Toronto, where the only thing memorialized this weekend is the longing for last weekend (Victoria Day long weekend - a much needed break!)

  3. Just gorgeous & so refreshing! I love it!

  4. Omg this sounds like a perfect summers drink! I have to test it out! But first I need to see if we have all the ingredients in Sweden. *Crossing my fingers we do*

    Have a good day!



  5. If I was to make these I wouldn't touch them. They look too pretty!!

  6. Perfect for this ridiculously nice weather we're having here. A great twist on one of my favourite cocktails!

  7. Oh my goodness, Kat--what an absolutely delicious blog you have! I think I've gained 5 pounds just reading about white sangria (I've never made it, but I do make the red occasionally) and the Norwegian meatballs!

    Saw your link on another blog and got curious. So happy I found you! :)


  8. ohh this looks delicious!!

  9. How beautiful! I was literally *just* thinking 'man, I need to make sangria one of these days'... then here you are, always to the rescue with exactly what I'm looking for! :)

  10. Ooh, what beautiful colors! I usually make red sangria (well, when I make it--sangria is not exactly the weekend norm at our house) but I think your white version sounds perfect for summer. Plus it's a great way to stuff yourself with fruit!

  11. looks incredibly refreshing!

  12. Las t week it was so hot over here, that I'd die for a drink like this. Looks very refreshing.
    Marta @ What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today?

  13. Also - wanted to let you know I nominated you for an award! Check out my latest post to find it. Thanks for being awesome! :D

  14. This has got to be the yummiest drink I've seen in a while! Definitely perfect for summer BBQs. ;)


  15. oh wow, this looks delicious! definitely perfect for summer! :D

    <3, Mimi
    $100 Shopbop Gift Card Giveaway -- Open internationally!

  16. Yummy! Too bad I'm not legal yet, hehe

    For the Record

  17. White sangria sounds much better than red - I prefer white wine. This might have to be our celebration drink when we move into our new house in Sweden!

  18. wow that sounds so delicious and refreshing! thanks for sharing!



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