There’s white sangria and red sangria and I love both equally. But my wheels were spinning for something unique to make for Williams-Sonoma’s community sangria party. Typically, sangria only needs two main ingredients: wine and fruit but you can also add club soda or other clear soda for a refreshing effervescence. Or… how about adding juices to maximize the fruity flavor of your sangria, and we don’t even need to mention the added nutrition. Consider it one of your fruit servings for the day. Even if you don’t own a juicer (I don’t) a blender or VitaMix does the trick. Your sangria will have a natural, unfiltered look, but there is no harm in that – the cool, refreshing, fruity taste of sangria is simply magnified!
To set my sangria apart from all others – I created a Tropical PINK Sangria using rosé wine, the quintessential summer aperitif – and we’re not talking about that awful white Zinfandel stuff that gave rosé a bad name. It’s rosé’s youthful vivacity and fresh, ripe strawberry and cherry flavors that make it a summer favorite. Rosés are made in a few different ways, including the blending of red and white wines together, or leaving the grape skins briefly in contact with the juice just before fermentation, or by a technique called saignée, in which a certain amount of juice is “bled” from the tank at regular intervals. Good rosé wines are always food-friendly and it’s possible to buy a very quaffable rosé for under $15. Wine Folly has an excellent guide to the different styles of rosé and Food & Wine has a list of rosé bargains for $15 and under.
For this lovely blush colored Tropical Pink Sangria I used a combination of plum, watermelon, pineapple, and kiwi – any combination of these fruits or mango, passion fruit, and dragon fruit would be terrific. (I wanted dragon fruit, but what I found at the market didn’t look very fresh.) Frozen grapes and frozen watermelon balls serve as ice to keep the chill. The wine I chose is a 2013 Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosé (30% Syrah 30% Grenache 15% Cinsault 25% Cabernet) – a classic Provence rosé that is crisp and bright, with succulent melon flavors underlined by chalky minerality. Rated between 90 and 92 points, the light, floral character and a crisp, bone-dry palate is one to be enjoyed on its own and was the perfect counterpoint to sweet, luscious tropical fruit.
I used my trusty VitaMix, considered a whole food juicer, for the fresh juices in the sangria and for my morning smoothies because I need fiber in my diet, but if you want to know more about juicing and the difference between slow, masticating and whole food juicers, visit William-Sonoma for more information and a look at their selection of well-known brands.
- 3 plums
- juice of 1 orange
- 1/2 seedless watermelon
- 1/4 of a fresh pineapple cored and peeled
- 1 kiwi sliced
- 1 bottle good quality rosé wine*
- 1 cup frozen green grapes
Preferably the night before, but at least an hour before serving prepare the watermelon and grapes and put in freezer. Use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop to make balls of watermelon and place in a freezer container in a single layer and freeze. The watermelon balls and frozen grapes will keep the sangria at a nice temperature without diluting it. Don’t throw away the juice left in the watermelon! Reserve it in a jar to add to the plum/orange juice.
Slice the plums in half and remove the pit over your blender to catch the juices. Whirr a few times to puree. Add the orange juice and give it a whirl to combine. You should have about 1 cup of juice. Strain through a fine strainer (or when you’re ready to make the sangria) to remove some of the pulp. If you own a juicer, you can juice the plums.
Put a 6-7 watermelon balls, pineapple triangles (or cubes), and sliced kiwi into a pitcher. Add 1/2 cup of the strained plum/orange/watermelon juice and the entire bottle of rosé. Stir gently and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors mingle. Reserve the remaining juice for another batch.
To serve, add grape “ice” to each glass (cocktail glasses, wine glasses, or goblets depending on the mood you’re going for). Serve and enjoy!