It’s a bit of a contradiction for sangria, which is named for its blood-red color, to be made with white wine, but once you’ve tasted this summery thirst quencher you’ll agree that doesn’t matter a bit.
I’m typically more of a red wine gal, but now I choose to make sangria with a combination of crisp white wine, rum and schnapps, just like my mother-in-law does. The first time I had white wine sangria was on a family vacation at the beach. My mother-in-law was in the kitchen cutting up an array of fruits, and I was just headed out the door for my morning jog. She had a bottle of white wine and schnapps sitting out and I thought to myself, “That is a strange breakfast, but hey, it is vacation.” When I returned there was a huge pitcher in the refrigerator of clear, bubbly liquid and lots of fruit. She told me it was white sangria and it had to sit for a while but should be ready after lunch.
After my first sip of her white wine–based sangria, I was completely hooked. Pieces of peach, kiwi and raspberries were the perfect match for the crisp Sauvignon Blanc. It was incredibly refreshing and cool, and I just loved that bubbly goodness.
In my opinion it’s more difficult to build flavor into red sangria; it can be done, but the variations tend to lean toward wintry flavors, spices and fruits that can machete their way through the round fruit and robustness of the red wine. I find that white sangria is a much kinder canvas. Feel free to use Prosecco, Mascato or Rosé instead of Sauvignon Blanc for a more delicate palate. You can also use soda water or ginger ale instead of Sprite. If you don’t like peaches, kiwi or raspberries, switch it up and use oranges, strawberries or mango. The combinations on this cocktail are endless.
The idea is to create a wine punch that matches your taste. 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 intoxicated.