Sangria is usually full of added sugar and sweet liqueurs. This is a lean and clean version with plenty of organic fruit.
I also use organic wines to avoid of the common chemicals used in conventional farming…The residues of these chemicals can end up in the the finished product and cause headaches and other nasty side-effects.
For my husbands garden party birthday we wanted a couple of nice drinks that were lower in alcohol, and healthy enough that we could feel good about serving them with the farm fresh, organic, and vegan MYO tortilla spread we were serving.
The trick to a healthier sangria is to use plenty of good quality organic fruit and skip the sugar and all the fancy brandies and liqueurs that some recipes recommend.
Make sure to let the fruit, (with the exception of the citrus which may make it bitter), marinate for a few hours or overnight in the wine and alcohol so the flavors are are enhanced.
When you are ready to serve, add up to 50% sparkling water to create a lighter drink. You get wonderful flavor with less calories and less alcohol!
How to make a healthier Summer Sangria!
This drink is rich and red – I like to use an organic red wine that has a big fruity flavor since I don’t add any fruit juice or sugary liqueurs to it.
The rum is optional, and it gives an alcohol kick to the marinated fruit that can be nice, especially in cooler fall weather.
1 bottle organic red wine
1 cup white rum
1 8-10 oz bag frozen organic cherries
1 cup sliced peaches
1 organic juice orange – sliced in half moons with the peel on
White Cucumber-Mint Sangria
This turned out to be everyone’s favorite, even the red wine drinkers! It’s especially good for the summer – so cool and refreshing.
1 bottle organic white wine – I use a dry Pinot Grigio. You can also choose a sweeter wine and skip the grape juice concentrate.
1 cup good quality white Tequila
1/3 can frozen organic white grape juice concentrate (or to taste)
1/2 cup dried apricot slices
1 cup fresh cucumber slices
1/2 cup organic lime – sliced in half moons with the peel on
1 handful fresh mint leaves
The directions are the same for both of these sangrias:
- The evening or morning before your party – fill a large jug or two quart mason jar with the first 4 ingredients and let marinate for a few hours in the fridge
- an hour or so before serving, add everything but the sparkling water so the citrus and other flavors can infuse it.
- you can add the sparkling water to each glass as you serve, depending on how strong the person prefers it, or you can make a 50/50 mix of water to wine and the flavors will still be rich and complex.
- adding dried fruits makes a more intensely flavored drink
- try fresh herbs like lemon thyme or basil – they should be added just an hour or two before serving or they get funky
- teas, like hibiscus, rose, Bengal Spice, can be made ahead of time, chilled and used to reduce the alcohol content further while increasing the flavor and nutritional profile.
What is your favorite Sangria recipe? Share in the comments below…