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Oldie but Goodie

Hi All, I haven’t had a chance to cook anything new this week because we’ve been vagabonds without electricity since the storm hit the DC area last Friday. So, until I get back into my kitchen, here’s an oldie but goodie from the archives. (Clearly, I could use a cocktail!)

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 and a small amount of brandy and orange liqueur. In the States, lemon-lime soda or seltzer is often added. This sparkling white version is adapted from Columbia Restaurant in Lido Key, FL — one of our favorite places to go when visiting my parents in Sarasota. I make it whenever we have company over the summer, and it seems I can never make enough of it.

Sparkling sangria 2

You can play around with the recipe 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. Instead of adding ice cubes to the pitcher, chill the sangria with frozen grapes; they look beautiful and don’t water the drink down.

Sparkling White Sangria

Servings: 4


  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) brandy
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar (it dissolves faster than regular granulated sugar; if you can't find it, substitute granulated sugar)
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 2 limes (one for the drink, one for the garnish)
  • 1 small apple, such as Fuji, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 nectarine, pitted and 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


  1. 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 bunch of frozen grapes.
  2. 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 thenpour sangria over top. Spoon chopped fruit into glasses, garnish with lime slices if desired and serve.


  • What do you think about us in club soda instead of sprite?? Thanks!

    - Candi on February 2, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Candi, It’s fine…just won’t be quite as sweet.

      - Jenn on February 2, 2014 Reply
  • Wow!

    - Dorothy on March 10, 2013 Reply
  • I love sangria, but I’ve never made a white one. This recipe looks great, especially with the Cava added–almost don’t need the soda!

  • What great timing. Instead of a glass of wine with dinner on a hot evening, I made the sangria and it was very cool and refreshing. I I love that you brought out an “Oldie but Goodie” recipe. I I tend to get stuck in a dinner routine and your email recipes bring me out of it. My family thanks you.

    - Tamyla Abraham on July 9, 2012 Reply
  • Sorry about the power outage! We went through that after a hurricane tore through Houston .. It was bothersome but it brought the communities together, bbqing in the street and sharing what we had.. So glad you shared this lovely sangria 🙂

    - Lesley on July 7, 2012 Reply
  • Jenn… This is perfect for today! After a long hot swim meet in Bethesda, this email came at the exact right time! I am making a pitcher for dinner tonite! Thank u and keep the amazing recipes coming!!!

    - Candi on July 7, 2012 Reply
  • I absolutely love Once Upon A Chef!!!
    A picture is worth a thousand words. I love the pictures because I am a visual learner.
    I will be trying the Sangria recipe today.

    Thank you for your simple and creative recipes!!


    Cyndi I

    - Cyndi I on July 7, 2012 Reply

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