White sangria—the lesser step-cousin of the classic no longer. In fact, we dare say sangria is going to be the drink of the summer season. Then again, we also declared jellies were making a huge comeback this summer and so far, nothing.
But the sangria we’re pretty sure about. We admit, insofar as a fruity wine drink can be described as “dominant,” red sangria has that title. But white sangria is getting more and more notice, and for good reason: it’s lighter, ridiculously quaffable (we said it), and acts as a great template for other flavors. It’s harder to build flavor into red sangria; not that it can’t be done, but variations tend to lean toward wintery flavors, spices and fruits that can machete their way through the round fruit and robustness of the wine itself. White sangria is a much kinder canvas.
That assumes you’re not using Chardonnay—and for god’s sake, don’t. Unless your other sangria ingredients are buttery or very powerful (peaches might actually do OK), or if the chardonnay is unoaked. Otherwise you’ll end up with a clash of flavors: a richer white wine pit against acid, fruit, and sparkling water. Yech.
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Not to limit your white wine choices—pour what you like, though the best bets are dryer and/or more acidic wines, anything like a Riesling or Pinot Grigio will work. Moscato also works really nicely here, since sangria is sweeter by nature. Just make sure to check your sugar levels. Once you choose your wine, you can layer on flavor in a variety of ways: fresh herbs, fruits (whatever’s in season), fortifying spirits or liqueurs. Really the only mistake you can make with white sangria is chugging too much on a hot sunny day. It’s refreshing stuff, yes, but it’ll still get you plastered.
For a drink that ends up looking really sophisticated, this one’s actually pretty simple. Yes, you have to get your hands on some pomegranate, and then remove the “arils,” but to make the actual sangria, you just dump everything into a pitcher and let it go for a day.
Anyone who’s watched this season of the RHONYC knows to stay away from the “Skinny Girl” name, especially where booze is concerned (poor, sweet Sonja). But this recipe’s done in homage, by a nutritionist, and it actually looks pretty great (though we’d recommend swapping in just a bit of agave for the Stevia, which can seem a bit bitter to some). Vinho Verde gives it a bit of sparkle, and fresh fruit (whatever’s in season) ups the health factor.
While a lot of sangria—white and red—is topped off with club soda, we figure the best way to get bubbles into your beverage is bubbly. Clearly this recipe author agrees with us: she uses Prosecco (though any dry sparkling will do) in addition to dry white wine and just a bit of fresh fruit. Elegant (‘cuz bubbles, y’all) but simple to make, meaning you’ll be drinking it sooner.
Everything is right about this recipe, except (in our opinion) using Chardonnay. Unless it’s unoaked, that is. The flabbiness of an oaky chardonnay will probably overpower the otherwise dope set-up she has here: kiwi and honeydew (the money melon) share that soft tropical green thing, fired up by a dash of tequila.
Bear in mind, we’re not encouraging the “diet” aspect of this. If the recipe writer includes it in her dietary regimen, fair enough, but we’ll be having ours with a few tacos. Which makes perfect sense, since it’s a citrus and triple-sec infused sangria. The ½ cup of sugar seems a little excessive when you’re talking six servings (and “diet”) so we’d say sweeten to taste. A half-cup may well end up being just right.
As white sangria variations go, this one’s pretty straight up. But what we like here is her use of fruit juices—specifically tropical and white grape juices—to sweeten the sangria while also adding flavor. The cucumber she recommends would add a nice refreshing component.
Here’s a simple way to infuse extra flavor into your white sangria—simple syrup. The author here goes for orange strips (make sure all the pith is gone) and fresh basil, making her final product seem very chic and Mediterranean. A healthy dose of Grand Marnier enriches the base while perky, acidic Pinot Grigio and club soda keep things bright.
A classic recipe enriched with brandy and pomegranate juice. But the real fun here is the spicy kick you get from the fresh jalapenos, which you muddle in (gently) along with a bunch of berries. Riesling or other light white wine do well here, just nothing so sweet as to overwhelm the spice. ‘Cuz…heat!
Not sure why more sparkling drinks aren’t made with grapefruit. Something about the bite and mild bitterness of grapefruit seems like the perfect match to spritely, sparkly bubbles exploding on your tongue. This recipe also earns points as one of the easiest, and quickest (ready in an hour).
Finally a white sangria that takes advantage of the cucumber! (Should we be less psyched about that? Nah.) Fresh cucumber and honeydew pair up in another ultra simple, refreshing white sangria. Since this is such a simple recipe, if you want to get a little wild, try different herb garnishes. Mint always works, but fresh basil might do just as well.