White wine Sangria is the perfect summer cocktail, ideal for sipping on the beach or anywhere outside in the sun. This fresh and delicious drink appeals to everyone with its light and fruity flavors, so a pitcher of white wine Sangria is bound to be a hit at your next garden party.
However, like all cocktails, there are so many recipes and different variations. Even white wine Sangria itself is a variation of another recipe; traditional Sangria made with red wine.
We’re going to layout all the information you need to perfect your white Sangria recipe, from the wine you’ll use as a base, to optional extra flavors and garnishes. While anyone can pull together a good cocktail, perfecting a mixed drink is somewhat of a science, and the perfect talent to impress your friends with!
If you want to balance all your flavors and textures to pull off the perfect white wine Sangria, then look no further than this article. Read on to discover everything you’ll need for our white wine Sangria recipe.
What is white wine Sangria?
All Sangria, red, white, or otherwise, is based on a recipe of wine, chopped fruit, and often brandy. The drink originates from Spain, where historically local wine was mixed with whatever fruit was nearby and in season, creating a deliciously refreshing summer punch.
Sangria is more traditionally made using red wine, such as Spanish Tempranillo and Rioja, however white wine Sangria is almost as popular. Some people prefer white Sangria as the wine offers additional freshness to the mix, creating a lighter taste. You can also make Sangria with sparkling wine for a fizzy cocktail.
The best wine for white Sangria
White wine does an excellent job of highlighting the fruit flavors in Sangria, as well as bringing their own unique taste and freshness into the mix. The outcome of a Sangria is highly dependent on your location, as the very best Sangria is homemade using local ingredients. There are many white wines that are ideal for use in Sangria, but overall you want a dry and acidic wine.
This will help balance out the sweetness of the fruit and create a very aromatic result. Wine used for Sangria is rarely oak aged as this can create a flavor that overpowers the delicate combination you’re trying to achieve. Always look out for wines as little oaked as possible, so you keep your Sangria cocktail light.
Pinot Grigio is an ideal choice for making Sangria, this popular wine of Italy is dry, light, and incredibly refreshing. Many people love to enjoy a cool glass of Pinot Grigio on a hot summer day, so imagine how much more refreshing it is with the addition of ripe fresh fruit. This Italian wine often features flavors of lemon, lime and green apple, and is perfect for combining with your chosen sliced fruits.
Pinot Grigio commonly features a punchy acidity which is perfect if you don’t like your cocktails too sweet. This zesty wine doesn’t have too strong of a flavor alone, so it won’t overpower the other ingredients in your white Sangria recipe.
One popular German wine makes another excellent selection for Sangria, as it’s perfectly dry and has a wonderful tangy flavor. Riesling is ideal for mixing into a fruit punch, as it often carries notes of peach and apple. Peach is a fantastic choice as a fruit in your Sangria, especially if you can get it locally and fresh, so pair it with Reisling for a deliciously aromatic combination. E
njoy the flowery perfumed aromas in Riesling in your white wine Sangria, this wine from Germany is rarely oaked so it carries a freshness that’s perfect for your favorite summer cocktail.
Vinho verde and white sangria
Portuguese Vinho Verde is perfect for Sangria, if you’re visiting Portugal then you absolutely have to sample this delicious wine. The great thing about Vinho Verde is the bottles are usually very affordable, especially if you’re buying locally. There’s no compromise on quality, and you won’t feel bad about using an expensive bottle of wine to create cocktails.
Unlike the other wines we’ve mentioned, Vinho Verde is not a grape, rather a DOC (a wine region). This means Vinho Verde isn’t necessarily all made from the same grapes, however, the wine is always young, fresh, light, and zesty.
The Argentinian grape Torrontes is another excellent choice for making white wine Sangria. This highly aromatic white features good acidity and aromas of peach and apricot. Using Torrontes in your Sangria can really make the flavors stand out, with flowery notes and hints of lemon to perfectly compliment your sliced fruits.
Savignon blanc and white sangria
Sauvignon Blanc is an obvious choice for Sangrias, you really can’t go wrong with this Bordeaux grape planted all over the world. This white wine is crisp and refreshing, ideal for creating a fruity and aromatic cocktail. Depending on where it is grown, Sauvignon Blanc can be on the sweeter or drier side, so you can decide just how much sweetness you need the wine in your Sangria to carry.
These are just a few of our suggestions when selecting a white wine for use in Sangria. We don’t recommend using just the cheapest bottle in the store, as wine is the base of your Sangria recipe and thus a very important element. The flavors in your white wine will feature in the end product, and more important is how they combine with your fruits and other ingredients.
You don’t need to use the fanciest bottle of white wine to make a good white Sangria, however, you should always choose a bottle that you would enjoy drinking alone. Remember, your main criteria should be a dry wine with good acidity, and keep the oak aging to a minimum. Keep these guidelines in mind, and it should be easy for you to produce a mouthwatering Sangria.
The best fruits to use in your Sangria recipe
Generally, berries and stone fruits are a good go-to choice when making a batch of Sangria. Traditional recipes feature plenty of citrus and stone fruits, but we encourage you to get creative with whatever is in season locally.
In winter, Sangria can be made with pears and apples, while during the summertime fruits like peaches and raspberries can crease a very aromatic drink.
You should only use fresh and ripe fruit for Sangria, make sure you aren’t introducing any flavors that could ruin the outcome of your drink. All the sweetness in Sangria comes from the chopped fruit used in the mix, so it’s important to ensure you’re only using the ripest fruits.
Strawberry, nectarine, mango, blackberry; the possibilities are endless when it comes to Sangria flavor combinations. Some less traditional recipes even use fruits like watermelon for an even more refreshing taste.
Other ingredients you might need for white wine Sangria
Sweetness is a factor entirely up to personal taste when it comes to Sangria. It’s best to taste your mixture before adding in any additional sweetener, as the drink might be perfect already. If you decide a bit of sweetness is necessary to improve your recipe, then there are a few choices that are ideal.
We always recommend sticking to natural ingredients, especially when it comes to a sweetener, as options like Stevia can carry an unpleasant taste which might show through your other flavors.
A simple tablespoon of sugar will work just fine to sweeten your Sangria, just add it a bit at a time to avoid overdoing it. Maple syrup is another excellent choice, unlike sugar, it carries flavors of its own and can introduce a delicious caramel taste to your summer Sangria cocktail. Coconut sugar, agave, and plenty of other options are available, so just pick the sweetener that you like best.
Many Sangria recipes call for an additional alcohol element to be added, which can give your cocktail a boozy kick as well as adding extra flavor. Apple brandy makes a wonderful choice as it adds additional fruity flavors. Other popular additions include Cointreau, Grand Marnier, and other liqueur with orange flavors. Triple Sec is a common addition in France, and really you can use any spirit that you feel will complement your recipe.
A traditional white wine Sangria recipe
This easy Sangria recipe is a classic take on this refreshing fruit cocktail, perfect for any occasion. The prep time is only around 15 minutes, meaning you can whip it up before your friends arrive and they’ll be very impressed!
Sangria is best when it’s left to sit once the ingredients are combined, giving all the flavors of the cocktail time to come forward. This brings the total time you’ll need to make the best Sangria upwards; it can be drunk straight away but left overnight in the fridge, you’ll gain a much more developed taste.
You will need:
- One 750ml bottle of dry white wine: Remember our advice above about choosing the ideal wine for Sangria; it’s all about fruity flavors and freshness. Make sure your bottle of wine is chilled beforehand.
- ¼ cup of brandy, or other liqueur: We recommend using apple brandy for a smoother and fruitier result.
- 1 medium lime
- 1 medium lemon
- ½ a medium green apple
- 1 ripe peach or nectarine
- 1 cup strawberries
- ¼ cup of sugar or sweetener (optional)
- Large pitcher
- Wooden spoon or muddler
1. Before beginning your recipe, you’ll need to make sure your fruit is prepared. Don’t forget your bottle of white wine should be chilling in the fridge at this point. Start off by washing all your fresh fruit, and then slice the citrus into thin rounds. Core your apple, and leave the skin on, chopping the fruit into small pieces. Strawberries should be evenly sliced, while your peach or nectarine is best to cut into thin segments.
2. Once all your ingredients are prepared and ready to go, it’s time to start combining them. First, you should add the lemon and lime slices to the pitcher, along with any sweetener that you’re using. Muddle them with a wooden spoon for about 45 seconds to allow some juice to emerge.
3. Add the apple brandy, or any other liqueur you’ve chosen for your white wine Sangria recipe, and muddle for another 30 seconds. You can also stir in your apple, stone fruit, and strawberries at this point.
4. Next, uncork and carefully pour in your bottle of dry white wine, stirring it into the other ingredients. Taste your mixture, and consider if the flavors need adjusting at all. You can add more sugar for sweetness, more lemon-lime juice for acidity, or extra fruit.
5. Once you’re pleased with the flavors, your Sangria is now ready to be served. However, if you’re making the cocktail ahead of time, we recommend returning the pitcher to your fridge for several hours. This will allow more nuances to develop, and you’ll be able to enjoy the combined taste of the fruit and wine more.
How to serve white wine Sangria
When serving your freshly made Sangria cocktail, we have a few recommendations to ensure it’s the very best it can be. Many recipes will advise you to add ice to your pitcher, however, as you’re unlikely to drink the whole pitcher within an hour or two, the ice will dilute and melt the drink. It is imperative that Sangria is served with ice, but it’s much better to add it to your glass without pouring. This way, you’ll maximize the refreshment you’ll get from this delicious drink.
If you’d like a lighter cocktail, you can use club soda or sparkling water to lower the alcohol content. This way, you can still enjoy all the delicious flavors while making your Sangria slightly less boozy. This also has the added bonus of creating some fizz in your drink. When serving your Sangria to guests, make sure you use one of the best Sangria glasses, and optionally garnish your drink with a little mint or lemon slice.
How to mix up your white wine Sangria recipe
If you want to spice up a traditional white Sangria recipe, there are plenty of easy adjustments you can make. For example, you could use almost any fruit, watermelon will give your cocktail a great tropical taste. Frozen fruit, for example, blueberries, can be used in place of ice cubes, and there are numerous benefits; they won’t melt and dilute your drink, they add extra fruity flavor, and they also offer a beautiful pop of color for presentation!
Some people use ginger ale instead of soda water in Sangria recipes, and lemonade can be used to the same end if you have a sweet tooth. Orange juice is a traditional ingredient in red Sangria, so why not experiment with using a juice in your white wine Sangria. You could also use a sparkling white wine to provide some fizz to your Sangria, such as Prosecco from Italy. However, if you choose a sparkling wine, remember you cannot refrigerate the recipe once it’s finished; this will cause you to lose all of your bubbles.
Here are some of our favorite variations of white wine Sangria:
- Pomegranate and rosemary white Sangria: This super-sophisticated Sangria is sure to impress guests at the garden party, and is surprisingly easy to make. All you need is a ripe pomegranate and a few sprigs of rosemary, and you’ve got a highly aromatic and delicate cocktail.
- Honeydew and kiwi white Sangria: This super refreshing fruity mix takes on a lovely slight green tint, and you can add a dash of tequila to really get the party started.
- Tropical white Sangria: You can experiment with using different juices in your Sangria, like tropical and grape juice. This will add extra flavor as well as sweetness, top it all off with a few cucumber slices for an even more refreshing drink.
Sangria has only been gaining popularity for the last few decades, and we expect this trend to continue. After all, what’s not to like?
A delicious combination of wine, fruit, and brandy is the perfect drink for any hot day (and some cold ones) and with such a flexible recipe, there’s the perfect Sangria out there for everyone. Base your recipe around a tasty dry and crisp white wine, a few of your favorite fruits (stone fruits and berries are a go-to), and top it off with some liqueur for an extra kick!
If you’d like an alcohol-free Sangria, we suggest submitting the wine with an alcohol-free sparkling wine or cider; just because you aren’t drinking, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this delicious refreshment. Whether you’re basking in the sun or chilling in the shade, a glass of homemade white wine Sangria is the perfect thing to complete the picture.
Bonus tip: Check out this video to see three different variations on Sangria!