If you’re looking for fruits that go with sangria, the first question you need to ask yourself is this: what type of sangria do you want to make? What flavor profiles make you happiest? Do you like things that are light and fruity? Or deep and rich? Let’s look at some great sangria combinations from classic to innovative to help inspire you.
Classic Red, with Red Fruits
Most people are familiar with a standard red sangria, which just happens to be one of the easiest to make. Just get yourself a favorite bottle of red wine, and whatever red fruits are in season.
Try combining 1 bottle of Malbec with 1 cup of apple juice, and a splash of Triple Sec. Add in 1/2 cup each peeled and chopped red apples, sliced strawberries, and halved red grapes. Let this steep in the fridge for several hours so all the flavors can combine. Then either share it with friends, or just grab a book and work your way through it over the course of the day.
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Choose sweet oranges (like mandarins, clementines, etc.), peel and seed them, and add about 2 cups’ worth to a large pitcher. To this, add 1 bottle of your favorite white wine, 1 cup low-acid orange juice, 1 cup pineapple juice, and 1/4 cup Triple Sec or Cointreau.
Slosh this around merrily and cool in the fridge overnight. Garnish with lemon and/or lime slices when you serve it.
Berry sangrias are some of the prettiest around, and have the most complex flavors. Choose a full-bodied red wine like Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon, and pour a bottle of that over a mix of whatever berries you can get your hands on. These can either be fresh or frozen, depending on the season, but strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are ideal.
Next, add 1 1/2 cups of mixed berry juice, followed by at least 1/2 a cup of Crème de Cassis blackcurrant liqueur. Let this sit in the fridge for several hours, and serve in truly beautiful glasses. Garnish with a sprig of currants, or with a sliced strawberry perched on the glass.
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All-White Fruit Sangria
This all-white sangria is really elegant for winter cocktails, or ghostly Halloween creations too.
Get an assortment of white or pale-fleshed fruits, other than banana: enough to have 2 cups of fruit in total. For example, white-fleshed peaches, Asian pears, pale pink-white Champagne grapes, white currants, pineberries, lychees, and dragonfruit.
Add this to a large pitcher, along with a bottle of Riesling or Moscato white wine. Next, add 1 1/2 cups white grape juice, and 1/2 cup pear brandy. Let this glorious combination soak in the fridge overnight, and share generously.
Or don’t. Just stick a festive curly straw into the pitcher and keep a fork handy to fish the fruit out.
Are you in love with melons of all shapes and sizes? If so, get yourself a bottle of Midori melon liqueur, a light, fruity red wine like Pinot Noir, and your favorite melons. Grab a melon baller to make pretty little scoops, and get to work on some cantaloupe, honeydew, muskmelons, and watermelons.
In a large pitcher, mix a ratio of 1:1.5 of melon liqueur to wine until you’ve filled it 3/4, then top up the rest with lemon or lime soda. Add ice, if there’s room, or chill until it’s cold.
Fill tall glasses 1/3 full of mixed melon balls, then top up the rest with your melon-wine mixture. Garnish with some speared melon balls on a skewer or decorative martini thinger if you’d like to get all fancy.
Since we’re talking about cucurbit sangria mixes, let’s get some cukes in on the fun. Cucumbers and honeydew melons work amazingly well together, and their water content will make you less likely to get a sangria hangover.
Get yourself two large seedless cucumbers, and peel them. Then take the seeds out of a medium-sized honeydew melon. Use that melon baller of yours to carve balls out of one of the cucumbers, and half the melon. Toss these into a large pitcher.
Next, cut up the rest of the cucumber and melon and put all that through a juicer or blender. Mix this with 1 full bottle of moderately sweet white wine, like Gewurztraminer or a mild Riesling, and 1 cup sparkling water. If you can get your hands on sparkling elderflower cordial, use that instead.
Pour this juice/wine mixture over the melon and cuke balls, stir well, and let it chill in the fridge for an hour. Play some ambient electronic music like Solar Fields for it if so inclined to help with the chilling. Serve really cold, garnished with a sprig of mint or elderflowers, if desired.
Further Reading: What does Cucumber Water Taste Like?
Strawberry Fields Forever
Okay, do you love strawberries? Then try out this sangria recipe.
Fill a large pitcher 1/4 of the way full with sliced fresh strawberries. Pour in enough strawberry juice until the berries are just covered, add about 1 cup of sparkling soda, and then fill the rest with strawberry Zinfandel wine, or a delicate rose.
Garnish with some mint leaves and/or a strawberry flower if you’re feeling festive.
We’re going to amp the cherry quotient here, so brace yourself.
Pour 2 cups of fresh or frozen halved sweet cherries into a pitcher, followed by a bottle of Grenache wine. Add 1 1/2 cups cherry-pomegranate juice, and 1 cup either cherry Kirsch liqueur, or Amaretto. Chill this for several hours to allow all the flavors to combine. Then, when you serve it, dip some whole cherries in chocolate and spear them as garnishes.
If any fruit is left over after you’ve drunk the lot, try using them in a cherry trifle, or a vegan Black Forest cherry cake.
You can use either fresh or canned mango for this one, depending on what season it is.
Add 2 cups chopped or sliced mango to a large pitcher, followed by a bottle of Moscato wine, 1 cup mango juice, 1 cup pineapple juice, and a splash of spiced rum. Chill until cold, and share it with someone you really like.
*Note: if you prefer bubbly alcohol, you can use a sparkling Moscato instead. Have fun with it.
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If you find that you really prefer white sangrias over red, then try this one out. Get a bottle of a mild, sweet-ish white wine like Riesling, and pour it into a large pitcher with 2 cups of ginger ale, 1/2 cup peach schnapps (or peach brandy), and 1 cup of peach nectar.
To this mixture, add in 2 cups of mixed sliced fresh peaches and nectarines. Try getting a combination of white-fleshed and golden peaches, as they have slightly different flavors and textures. (You can also use fresh apricots if your local supermarket is low on fresh produce.)
Chill this overnight and serve as cold as possible. If you have leftovers, puree them and freeze into popsicles.
Lychees have a delicate, floral flavor that works tremendously well in white sangria. Get yourself a beautiful big bottle of crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, and pour it into the prettiest pitcher you have. Add a can of preserved lychees, along with half the syrup from the can. Just drink the rest as you’re making this, or save it for another recipe.
Peel and chop a small Asian pear and add that to the pitcher, along with 1/2 cup of ginger ale, and either 1/4 cup of pear nectar, or the same amount of Soho lychee liqueur. It’s up to you how powerful you’d like to make this stuff.
Chill for several hours until ready to serve, and garnish with more Asian pear slices, or with a fresh lychee on a skewer.
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If you find a sangria recipe that you really love, be sure to brew up extra. You can freeze the extras into freeze pops or granitas, or even transform them into festive vegan gelatin rings. After all, you can rarely have too much of a good thing, and sangria is a very, very good thing indeed.