Red wine is not the first beverage I tend to want on a hot summer day. There is, however, an exception to that- when it’s made into Sangria!
Cherry Berry Sangria is the perfect way to kick off summer.
This weekend marks the official start of summer, and it just so happens that the fruit that’s in season now is some of my most favorite. Given all of that, it made sense to make a summery cocktail to celebrate! Plus, the sweetness of the berries and cherries felt like a good way to add sweetness to the sangria without adding too much sugar.
When choosing a wine for sangria, don’t feel like you need to buy the expensive stuff. This is when you want the cheap stuff! For this batch, I used a fruity pinot noir that ran me $9.99 and it was perfect.
If you look up a few basic sangria recipes, you’ll see that most of them have lots of added sugar. Many have soda added. Most also have an additional alcohol added, such as brandy. If you want to give your sangria an extra punch, you could definitely add some of that.
For this one, though, I wanted to lighten it up. A little bit of tart cherry juice adds some sweetness without making it cloying, and sparkling water is all you need to give it a little bit of effervescence.
You’ll want to make this a few hours ahead of serving it- long enough for the fruit to infuse and add flavor. Make sure to add the sparkling water and ice right when you’re ready to serve it. And if guests show up unannounced and you don’t have time to let it sit, no one will be mad at you, and it will still be delicious.
Light and summery- perfect for backyard BBQs!
- 1 bottle fruity red wine*
- 2 cups tart red cherry juice
- 12 ounces cherries, pitted and halved (about 2 cups)
- 1 pound strawberries, washed, hulled, and quartered (about 3 cups)
- 6 ounces raspberries, about 1 heaping cup
- 6 ounces blackberries, about 1 heaping cup
- 2 cups sparkling water
In a large pitcher, combine the wine, cherry juice, and fruit. Stir to combine and refrigerate for 2-8 hours. (It will still be good if you serve it right away, but will be more flavorful if you allow the fruit to infuse)
When ready to serve, add the sparkling water and ice.
*Don't be tempted to buy an expensive bottle for this; this is when you want to use cheap wine.
I only use my cherry pitter a handful of times per year, but when I do use it, I'm so glad I have it. I like to just tear the cherries in half after pitting them.
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