Sangria Is Refreshing

Sangria is dangerous…sneaky.

Tastes like juice but is mostly wine with a bit of brandy. I personally love sneaky drinks. I don’t always love to drink them (usually too sweet), but I love serving them. People who are not as likely to imbibe are much more apt to have a glass of fruit ladened Sangria then a cocktail or beer. This means your buzz to guest ratio increases, which means more smiles and laughter. Which is the point of most gatherings, am I right?


Spanish in origin and translated to “The Color of Blood”, its typical components are red wine, fruit, and brandy; with many recipes adding fruit juice, soda or soda water. However, white wine can also be used as the base and results are just as refreshing and delicious; with a lighter, brighter, summerier feel. Yes summerier…I looked it up.

A couple months ago while teaching a cooking class a nice young lady forwarded me this white Sangria recipe. I still haven’t made it but a friend of mine did, and luckily she gave us a bunch. We drank the crap out of it and fought over the last glass…I won. It was summer in a glass and didn’t get old. I even added some of my lemon vodka, to give it…more.


Serves 1-8-

4 bottles of white wine 1 C of sugar 4 stalks of lemongrass 3 oz of ginger 10 each kaffir lime leaves (if you can’t find these, just use lime peel) 2 pineapples (cut off the skin) 2 cara cara oranges cut in half (you can use regular oranges if you can’t locate these) 2 sticks of cinnamon 10 each cloves

Pour the wine in a large container that will fit in your refrigerator. Whisk in the sugar and place all of the aromatics in the container as well. Slice the ginger lengthwise and pound the lemongrass in order to release the natural oils. Let sit in the refrigerator for 2 days, strain off the aromatics, serve over ice with a splash of 7up. Recipe Courtesy of Chef Jonathan Bautista

The earthy flavors of clove and cinnamon add a softness to the crisp Asian quality of the orange, lemongrass, and ginger. If you can’t find the lime leaves at your local Asian grocer, use lime peel. We just went to a 30th birthday where there was a ginormous bowl of tasty sangria keepin’ tha ladiez happy. Although I was experimenting with every other drink that night, I did get to taste the Sangria. It was great. The only difference is it wasn’t really Sangria. Or was it?

Big Kahuna and Sierra mist at a 2 to 1 ratio was all that was needed to please the crowd. Sure there was some fruit mixed in, but that was just for show. For the un-initiated, Big Kahuna is Fresh and Easy’s Charles Shaw, and Sierra mist is their Sprite. So, it’s up to you. You can create smiles with Sprite and cheap wine, or go all out with a bunch of ingredients. Just put it over ice and turn the music up.

Now get off the computer and go get your summer drank on.