Sparkling White Sangria

Sparkling sangria 1a

Some of my fondest memories are of meals I’ve had on vacation, when everything — the weather, the view, the company, the food — comes together to make for a wonderful time. Last year, Michael and I had a dinner like this at Columbia, a Spanish style restaurant on St. Armand’s Circle in Lido Key, FL. It was a nice night, so we sat at a tiny table on the sidewalk patio and shared a garlicky house salad with baked ham and grated Romano cheese, red snapper in a rich brown wine sauce topped with fried shrimp and Spanish almonds (I never forget a meal!), and a pitcher of Sparkling White Sangria, which I loved and vowed to share on my blog as soon as the weather got warm.

Sparkling sangria 2

Sangria is a fruit-based wine punch typical of Spain and Portugal. There are many variations but it usually consists of wine, chopped or sliced fruit, a sweetener (such as honey, sugar, simple syrup, or fruit juice) and a small amount of brandy and orange liqueur. In the States, lemon-lime soda or seltzer is often added.

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This version is adapted from Columbia Restaurant’s recipe. You can play around with it as much as you like. For a stronger drink, go easy on the soda. As for the fruit, I love oranges, nectarines and apples but peaches, melons, and berries would also work well.

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Instead of adding ice cubes to the pitcher, I like to chill the sangria with frozen grapes. They look beautiful and don’t water the drink down. I do, however, add ice cubes to the individual glasses. You guzzle it down so quickly, the ice cubes barely have a chance to melt.

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Hope you enjoy this drink as much as we did…Cheers!

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Sparkling White Sangria
Inspired by Columbia Restaurant in Lido Key, FL
Printable Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 ounce (2 tablespoons) brandy
1 ounce (2 tabelspoons) orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1/3 cup superfine sugar*
1 orange, halved
2 limes (one for garnish)
1 small apple, such as Fuji, peeled and chopped
1 nectarine, chopped
1 bottle chilled sparkling wine, such as Cava, Prosecco or Champagne
1 cup lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite
A few bunches frozen grapes

Directions

In a large pitcher, combine the brandy, orange liqueur and sugar. Squeeze juice from one lime and one orange half into the pitcher. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Slice the remaining orange half into thin slices and add to pitcher, then add chopped apples and nectarines. Add the sparkling wine, lemon-lime soda and a large bunch of frozen grapes. Place ice cubes in glasses (do not put them in the pitcher or they’ll water the drink down) along with small bunches of frozen grapes and pour sangria over top. Spoon chopped fruit into glasses, garnish with lime slices if desired and serve.

*Superfine sugar dissolves much faster than regular sugar. It is available at most supermarkets. This recipe makes a fairly sweet sangria; if you prefer it dry, use less sugar.

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  • Wow, how pretty! I just made a red sangria that was really good and am so happy to now have a white one, love all your flavor combinations! Thanks, Chris

  • Rachel Jones

    Oh how I love the Columbia! Its a Florida staple, there is one close to my office in Tampa and I eat there far too often. I should incorporate more sparkling Sangria into my lunches! This may have to be my Fourth of July drink.

  • Vaniljekjeks

    I love that story! I know exactly how it is, remembering meals. I remember every single fantastic meal I have had, and how I felt when eating it. Oh happy times!

    And this recipe I must try. Frozen grapes in place of ice cubes is a brilliant idea!

  • This looks so good. A drink and fruit salad – you’ve made my day! :)

  • Ahhh…looks so refreshing on a hot summer day like today! I can’t wait to make it!

  • Sara

    This was delicious!!!

  • Tessa

    Just the ticket to welcome in spring!

  • Brecken

    Yummy!

  • Lori O.

    YUM!

  • Judi

    This is a go to summer favorite! It makes a great addition to our 4th BBQ!

  • Amanda

    Refreshing. We held the Brandy and opted for a little peach schnapps to bring out the peach flavors. Thank you!

  • Arnold

    I would say this is the perfect grad party drink

  • Liz

    Guests come running when they see this beautiful beverage. It looks so pretty in a clear pitcher. I always double or triple the recipe so I have enough! Have substituted raspberries and strawberries. Everyone loves it! Thanks, Jenn!

  • Mary

    I made this recipe last summer, and it was a hit. Would not change a thing in this recipe. Honestly, the drinks looked so pretty that we took photos. Tasted great and looked so artistic, too.

  • Kristen

    Can’t wait to make this for the next girl’s night in! Thanks for providing the amounts of liquor…I never know how much to put in!

  • Rachel

    I halved the amount of sugar and put a little more soda in and used peaches instead of nectarines (the peaches looked better at my farmer’s market). We had this with some fresh fish. So good.

  • Flamevine

    I made this over vacation – used a bottle of proseco I had in the fridge. It’s not your usual sangria but definitely tasty and so pretty. I’ll make this again and again.

  • Had this at my daughters and it was so delicious and then we also got to enjoy the fruit.

  • Judee Diehl

    Whoa! Sounds refreshingly AWESOME!

  • Beth

    Thinking about making this for a graduation celebration. How far in advance can I make this?
    Also considering making the Roasted Garlic Gazpacho and serving in shot glasses as an appetizer. How far in advance can I make the soup?
    Love your recipes!

    • Jenn

      Hi Beth, Thank you! The sangria would be great for a graduation celebration, but it is really best made right before serving. You could do it ahead but it would lose its fizz — it would still be delicious, just not sparkling. The soup, however, can definitely be made a day or two in advance. Hope that helps!

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