Sparkling White Sangria

Tested & Perfected RecipesCookbook Recipe
Photo by Alexandra Grablewski

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski

Whenever we visit my parents in Florida, we have dinner at Columbia, a Spanish/Cuban-style restaurant on Sarasota’s St. Armand’s Circle. Mike and I always share a pitcher of their Sparkling White Sangria, which the server prepares tableside for a little drama. I thought it’d be fun to make at home for friends, so I created this copycat recipe. There’s no need to use an expensive sparkling wine. Buy something inexpensive and buy a lot–no matter how much sangria I make, I always find myself back in the kitchen chopping fruit to make another batch.

Sparkling White Sangria

Servings: 4
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) brandy or cognac
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar (see note)
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 2 limes
  • 1 small apple, such as Fuji or Honeycrisp, 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

Instructions

  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 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.
  2. Note: 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.

Reviews & Comments

  • I am from Sarasota! So glad you found the Columbia, it is one of my faves from my childhood 🙂 BTW if you visit again any time soon check out the one in Ybor City in Tampa – beautiful old building and of course the tasty 1905 Salad

    • — Beth Fraser on September 2, 2018
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  • I made jugs of this for a dinner party and it was such a hit! It is not your typical red sangria and it is not too sweet. I will
    make this over and over again. Thanks !

    • — Valerie on August 30, 2018
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  • I made sparkling and pomegranate sangria for a birthday party and the pitchers got emptied out. I did not add sugar to both. The fruit sweetens the sangria on its own if you let it sit for a few hours and Pom juice is very sweet.

    • — Lydia King on July 3, 2018
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  • This is a refreshing Treat for any party, or for a hot summer afternoon with the husband. I added cherries and strawberries and strawberry champagne. What a delight!!!! Thanks Jen,, this is a keeper!

    • — Frances Elia on July 1, 2018
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  • This was a delicious addition to my book club menu. I forgot to add the Sprite and it was plenty sweet, very refreshing and all my guests loved it!

    • — Karin Peterson on June 28, 2018
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  • if i add peaches, strawberries and raspberries do i still add the lime juice and orange juice?

    • — Mia on June 5, 2018
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    • Yes, Mia, I would still add the lime and orange juices. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 6, 2018
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  • This makes a wonderful sangria, and we’ve figured out how to punch up the fruit flavor AND eliminate the sugar! Instead of the lemon-lime soda, most grocery stores have clear, fruit-flavored carbonated water. We pick a flavor to match the fruit we are using (peach is our current favorite), use a Moscato instead of Prosecco, and watch this beverage disappear *quickly*!

    • — Bernadette on March 1, 2018
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  • We are having an unseasonably warm fall and so I chose to make this for our book club. This is a very good sangria that makes a pretty presentation. However, for me, there is a small caveat: It was too sweet for my taste. So I topped my glass with club soda. Next time I will half the amount of sugar called for, and adjust it from there.

    • — Nicole on September 24, 2017
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  • I served this last night for a group of friends, and everyone remarked how good it was. In fact we doubled the recipe and there was nothing left by the end of evening. The only changes I made was not adding nectarines since they are not in season yet and using some blackberry brandy I had on hand.

    • — Yvette Rysak on May 12, 2017
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  • As soon as it starts getting warm, we have sangria on the back deck every weekend.

    Well, it’s only 50F today, but we couldn’t wait. I made this and it’s absolutely divine. I used peaches because I can’t get nectarines yet, and let’s just say…it’s a little *too* easy to drink!

    Oh, this is definitely going into our regular rotation.

    • — Reuben on April 22, 2017
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  • This is a delicious drink to serve spring, summer and fall. Use the best quality liquor possible and complements will be assured. I have used both Cava and Prosecco with great success.

    • — Julia on March 16, 2017
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  • It’s an amazing recipe and has been a hit for a lot of summer and fall parties. Do you have any suggestions for a red wine sangria or mulled wine winter recipe? Your blog and recipes are great!!

    • — Alpana on January 29, 2017
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    • Hi Alpana, So glad you like this! For something more wintery, you may want to give this Pomegranate Sangria a whirl. Hope you enjoy it if you try it!

      • — Jenn on January 29, 2017
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  • I love this recipe and shared with many family and friends we all feel the same perfect tipple for a crowd. Although I omit the sugar I personally think that its sweet enough without

    • — Sharon on August 27, 2016
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  • This recipe sounds amazing. I want to make for a large party in a drink dispenser. Could you adapt recipe for me?

    • — Elysa Krukowski on June 11, 2016
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    • Hi Elysa, You could definitely make a large quantity of this for a party, but if you used a drink dispenser, I think it would be hard for guests to get the fruit. You may be better off using several pitchers.

      • — Jenn on June 12, 2016
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  • Recently served this at a Bunco party and it was an instant hit. For non-alcoholic drinkers I used sparkling white grape juice.

    • — Suzy on August 27, 2015
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  • I love this recipe will be using it again for a bunch i am catering. can i cut the fruit and soak in the brandy mixture for a day or so prior to event? or must make day of? adding prosecco and soda day right before event?

    • — nina on July 30, 2015
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    • Hi Nina, Yes, that sounds delicious. Definitely add the sparkling wine and soda right before; it loses it’s fizz pretty quickly (although it’s still delicious).

      • — Jenn on July 31, 2015
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  • How long should grapes be in the freezer?

    can you use either red or white grapes?

    • — Maria on May 18, 2015
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    • Hi Maria, A couple hours should do the trick — and, yes, either white or red will work 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 20, 2015
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  • What a tasty treat! Buuuut you should post a recipe for red wine sangria

    • — Tori on April 14, 2015
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  • Spot on perfect. Loved it. I did add a stick of cinnamon but it only added a tiny amount of flavor. Loved the brandy, brandy doesn’t get enough love in drinks. Don’t skip it or the Grand Marinier.

    • — Ryan on March 22, 2015
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  • This sangria was so refreshing and so easy to make. The only thing that I changed was the fruit, I added strawberrys, rasberrys and peachese and also the grapes. But kept it with all ingrediants…

    • — Maria L on July 2, 2014
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  • Hey Jenn,
    quick question, how would you tweak this recipe in order to make it a virgin sangria?

    • — Shannon on June 18, 2014
    • Reply
    • Hi Shannon, I would use sprite or sparkling cider; just cut back or omit the sugar.

      • — Jenn on June 19, 2014
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Beth on June 26, 2013
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on June 26, 2013
      • Reply
  • Whoa! Sounds refreshingly AWESOME!

    • — Judee Diehl on March 15, 2013
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  • Had this at my daughters and it was so delicious and then we also got to enjoy the fruit.

  • 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.

    • — Flamevine on October 2, 2012
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  • 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.

    • — Rachel on June 26, 2012
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  • 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!

    • — Kristen on June 24, 2012
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  • 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.

    • — Mary on June 20, 2012
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  • 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!

    • — Liz on June 20, 2012
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  • I would say this is the perfect grad party drink

    • — Arnold on June 20, 2012
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  • Refreshing. We held the Brandy and opted for a little peach schnapps to bring out the peach flavors. Thank you!

    • — Amanda on June 20, 2012
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  • This is a go to summer favorite! It makes a great addition to our 4th BBQ!

    • — Judi on May 16, 2012
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  • YUM!

    • — Lori O. on May 15, 2012
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  • Yummy!

    • — Brecken on March 8, 2012
    • Reply
  • Just the ticket to welcome in spring!

    • — Tessa on March 2, 2012
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  • This was delicious!!!

    • — Sara on July 25, 2011
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  • Ahhh…looks so refreshing on a hot summer day like today! I can’t wait to make it!

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

  • 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!

    • — Vaniljekjeks on June 23, 2011
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  • 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.

    • — Rachel Jones on June 23, 2011
    • Reply
  • 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

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