Summer is here, and inviting friends or family over for a party on our back deck is one of my favorite ways to celebrate. But what to serve? Wine and beer, of course, but sometimes you want something a little more fun. In my house, we love to offer a house cocktail when guests arrive but if you have more than a few visitors, you (or your husband in my case) can easily get stuck on cocktail duty rather than enjoying the party. So pitcher drinks are a great solution, because you can make big batch at once and guests can serve themselves. In the winter, I love to make mulled wine and keep it in a saucepan on a very low heat to offer guests as they arrive. But summer months call for something like this white wine sangria.
My sangria recipe is super easy: just mix a bottle of white wine with some brandy and a bit of sugar in a large pitcher. Add fresh fruit and chill. When you are ready to serve, fill wine or juice glasses about halfway up with the sangria. Then pour in a couple of ounces of sparkling water or club soda and stir. The bubbles add a little bit of fun to the drink, and also dilute the alcohol to make this a perfect aperitif. Add more sparkling water or less depending on your preference. Any brand is fine, though this is a perfect use for the La Croix cans that seem to be ubiquitous right now—my favorite is berry for this sangria. You can also serve over ice, which is nice when it’s particularly hot out!
Can I make white wine sangria in advance?
Yes! In fact, this sangria should be made a few hours in advance, so the fruit, wine, and brandy flavors have the chance to meld together into something more delicious than the sum of their parts. That makes this pitcher drink a perfect match for anyone who tends to be juggling 10 things 5 minutes before guests are supposed to arrive (ahem).
That said, I wouldn’t make it much more than a few hours in advance, because the more it sits, the more the wine will pull out some of that beautiful red strawberry color. The sangria turns pleasantly pink, but the strawberries lose some of their fresh look. If that happens to you, I would scoop out the strawberries and add some fresh ones when you’re ready to serve.
What’s the best white wine for sangria?
Crisp and acidic white wines work best for this recipe, like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. Save your oaky Chardonnays for a rich meal or pairing with cheddar cheese. Bonus: you don’t need to go super high-end for this sangria to taste great. In fact, if you have ever wondered how to make cheap white wine taste better, the answer is to add fruit, sugar, and brandy, and turn it into sangria! But unless you happen to have a bottle of cheap white wine around the house that you’re hoping to find a use for, I’d buy a reasonably priced white wine that you’d be happy to drink on its own—that will always make for a better final product.
What to serve with white wine sangria?
You’ll want some delicious appetizers like my Cilantro-Lime Crab Salad and Charred Tomatillo Guacamole. Then throw some burgers, veggies, or fish on the grill and serve them up with this Spinach Beet Salad on the side. Mango Coconut Yogurt Parfaits would be a sweet end to the night. No excuses now! Invite some friends over and celebrate summer.
White Wine Sangria with Strawberries
This white wine sangria features strawberries, lemon, and green apple mixed with a crisp white wine, brandy, and sugar. Delicious and easy for entertaining!
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 bottle white wine (sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio recommended), chilled
- 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 cup finely chopped green apple
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Sparkling water, chilled, to serve
Put sugar in pitcher. Add brandy and white wine and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 4 hours.
When ready to serve, pour sangria into individual cups, making sure there is a big spoonful of fruit in each cup. Then top off with a couple of ounces of sparkling water.
You can also use club soda instead of sparkling water, or even champagne!