Riff on a Classic

by Aug 18, 2022North Brunswick, Recipes

Sangria made with watermelon juice and a kick of ancho chili? It works, and you’ll love it.

Summertime in my household means all things watermelon. I’ve made watermelon drinks and many variations of sangria but never a watermelon sangria. So here goes …

When I was a kid, we used to go to my aunt and uncle’s house almost every weekend because they had a pool. My dad would swing by the farmers market and grab a watermelon and when we arrived at the pool, he would immediately throw it in the water to keep it cool. I would roll around the pool with that watermelon, the whole time anticipating cutting it open. That memory has stuck with me throughout my adulthood.

My spouse, our son and I recently went to a friend’s house for a pool party. Everyone was assigned something to bring for the late lunch / early dinner, and I was asked to make sangria.

As is my cooking style, I have an idea of what I want to make, but I build off of what I have on hand and develop it as I go through the grocery store. I went to our bar and bagged Grand Marnier and brandy. We stopped by the grocery for me to grab the staples for sangria: wine, fruit, club soda and some sort of herb. I picked up a watermelon and strawberries. I decided to add some flair by rimming the glasses with a kick of chili powder mixed with sugar.

When we arrived, I threw the watermelon in the pool, and the kids went wild. When it was time to create the sangria, I used a portion of the watermelon to make watermelon juice, which is essentially pureed watermelon and then strained for the juice. I put it all together in a pitcher and set it in the fridge to marinate the fruit for half an hour or so.

I rimmed glasses, added ice and started serving it up. The unique combination of flavors and refreshing yet spicy finish was the talk of the pool party. Try this sangria at your next pool party and be sure to throw the watermelon in the pool — it will be a gas!

Photography by James Stefiuk

Print Recipe
Spicy Watermelon Sangria
Sangria made with watermelon juice and a kick of ancho chili? It works, and you’ll love it.
Spicy Sangria
Servings
Pitcher
Ingredients
For the rimmed glasses
Servings
Pitcher
Ingredients
For the rimmed glasses
Spicy Sangria
Instructions
  1. Add the watermelon balls and strawberries to the bottom of a pitcher.
  2. Pour the wine, watermelon juice, brandy, Grand Marnier and club soda over the fruit and stir. Let the pitcher sit in the fridge to marinate for a bit.
  3. On a plate, stir the ancho chili powder and sugar together.
  4. To serve, rim a glass with a lime wedge and dip it into the chili and sugar mixture and add ice to the glass. Pull out a few pieces of fruit from the bottom of the pitcher and add to the glass. Pour the sangria over top to fill up the glass and garnish with fresh mint. Cheers!
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