In my world sangria should be just a little sweet, have plenty of bubbly to provide the fizz, and be full of fresh, seasonal fruit. This easy peach sangria ticks off all those boxes with style! Is it 5 o’clock yet?
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I’m going to make a confession here. Until I developed this recipe, I didn’t think I liked sangria. But it turns out what I didn’t like were the over-sweet, under-flavored concoctions, often with no fruit sight, that I had tried. Once I thought about the sangrias I had in the past and the sort of sangria I was going to make, it became clear it wasn’t the sangria at all I had a problem with. It was the recipe.
This recipe? You’re going to love it.
When making sangria, there are a few choices to make.
The first choice I made in the recipe was what style of wine to use as the base. I chose a medium-dry Riesling. Rieslings have lots of fruit flavors, like apple and peach and apricot, which works well for a fruit filled cocktail, while having enough sweetness to work with the fruit, but not so much that it turns the sangria into dessert. Also, reasonably priced! You can get a very nice Riesling without spending a lot of money. (The Reverse Wine Snob has a nice list of inexpensive Rieslings they recommend.)
Personally, if I’m doctoring up a wine to make it a cocktail, I don’t want to start with a $30 bottle. Those bottles get enjoyed all by themselves without nothing else added. I don’t think I’m alone in that. 🙂
Once you have the Riesling on hand, it’s time to add the rest of the flavors. Starting with some brandy and some orange liqueur, one to add low notes to the flavor, and the other to add high notes.
And third, of course, the fruit! I have decided that it’s not a sangria for me unless it’s full of yummy, seasonal fruit. So I packed this sangria full of ripe peaches, lovely raspberries, and lemon wedges. Mix it all together, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and the flavor of the fruit will infuse the wine, giving you a pretty amazing sangria base.
Tip: To easily cut peaches into pretty wedges, begin by slicing the peach through the equator. Even cling stone peaches will release their pit with a simple twist if cut through the middle instead of from top to bottom.
You could stop there with your yummy, fortified infused wine, but why stop there? Keep going, because sangria needs fizz! 🙂
One option is to add fizz with soda. It’s fizzy after all. But you know what it also is? Really sweet. Too sweet for me. Instead, we are bringing this cocktail back to its Spanish roots and using Cava to provide the fizz. Lots of fizz and not so much sugar.
Don’t know much about Cava?
- Cava is, in general, a great bubbly have on hand for those who love a sparkling wine, but don’t love the price of Champagne. There are, of course, more expensive Cavas out there, but they will still be a deal in comparison to a more expensive Champagne.
- Cava is made in the méthode champenoise as that more expensive wine.
- It tends to be light and fruity, especially young Cava. I would say that a bit citrusy is a good description for Cava.
- If you want more info check out this Cava Wine Guide.
Now that I have this fruit forward, wonderfully fizzy, not so sweet sangria, I know that sangria is a wonderful drink I intend to enjoy for many years to come! I have no doubt there will be more sangria recipes on these pages, but for now I’m going to go and have another glass of easy peach sangria.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
There are many great stemless wine glasses on the market these days. The classic is the Riedel O wine tumbler, and as people who enjoy a nice glass of wine, that is the brand we have. The weight, the shape, and the thinness of the rim all contribute to making even an inexpensive bottle of wine taste its best. You may not need a Riedel glass for sangria, but it certainly makes it feel a little fancier!
- 1 bottle Riesling medium dry
- 3 oz brandy
- 1 oz orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau
- 2 peaches diced
- 12 raspberries
- 1 lemon sliced and seeded
- 2 tbsp agave syrup optional
- 1 bottle brut Cava or other dry sparkling wine
In a large pitcher, mix together the Riesling, brandy, orange liqueur, peaches, raspberries, and lemon. Let the sangria base steep for at least 6 hours up to one day.
Once it's ready, taste it and see if it needs the sweetener. Add the agave (or honey) if needed. Then pour in the Cava, give the sangria a stir and serve immediately.
Taste the sangria base before you add any agave syrup. If it is sweet enough, skip the syrup. If you don't have any agave and need sweetener, you can use honey as a substitute.
You can also portion out the sangria base and then add the Cava to each glass separately.
Skim off the lemon slices before pouring the sangria. They float to the top and make it difficult to pour.
If you want to make this sangria in the winter, canned peaches in juice make a good substitute for the fresh peaches. Just drain them, chop them if needed, and add them to the sangria base.