Should Friends Let Friends Drink Friends’ Sangria?

July 3, 2013

sangria1Festive summer occasions often require that we come up with a menu that will please the most folks, and at the same won’t to have to fall to a lowest common denominator.  Sangria is one of those fail-safe preparations that can simplify bar service, and allow everyone to share from the same cup.  I like making Sangria, but don’t do it enough, especially considering the many fresh fruits that ripen in these parts.  So when I saw these little single serving Sangria at the grocery, I was curious to give them a try.

Alternative packaging is the new frontier in wine marketing, and I see that the company who makes these Sangria, Friends Just Wine, have a line of 250ml cans, with a French Cab/Merlot and Melon de Bourgone being their most prominently displayed products.  The all Flash and minimal info website does not even list the Sangria we have here.  What I can deduce based on labeling, is that the wine itself comes from Spain, the cans are filled in Austria, and the final globalized product arrives through the port Miami, FL.

I’m not quite sure who the target market is for this beverage, but it is definitely not me.  I decided to try them for novelty’s sake, so my expectations were not high, and consequently my disappointment was tempered a bit.  The white tasted a lot like Hawaiian Punch, and the red, like Hi-C.  This is nothing what  real Sangria should taste like, and only the inexperienced, or truly desperate would think otherwise.  Sorry to have to shoot these down, but I’d rather see you make your own Sangria, and enjoy it.

Here are a couple of very basic recipes, and while a good start, they are by no means the limit.  I like to throw peaches and nectarines into the white sangria later in summer, or to freeze local berries on a tray for addition instead of ice.  Check out the many recipes that folks have published on the web, and use your imagination.

Red Sangria

1 Bottle of red wine

1 Lemon cut into wedges

1 Orange cut into wedges

1 Lime cut into wedges

2 Tbsp sugar

Splash of orange juice or lemonade

2 Shots of vodka or triple sec (optional, but appreciated)

1 Cup of raspberries or strawberries (fresh are good but frozen work well too)

Get creative with any other chopped up fruit…go for it.

4 Cups Seltzer water ( go for the berry flavored versions if possible )


Put the wine into a large vessel.  Squeeze the citrus wedges into the wine, then add the citrus and whatever other chopped fruit you have plus add the sugar, orange juice and booze. Chill overnight. Add sparkling water or other sparkling soda, berries and ice when serving it up.

Serves: 3-4

White Sangria


1 apple, coarsely cubed

1 pears, coarsely cubed

1 oranges, small wedges

1/2 cup vodka

1/4 cup triple sec

1 bottle  dry white wine

Chilled Cava  or other sparkling wine - ginger ale is an alternative


Put all fruit in a large bowl with vodka and triple sec. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if you have time.

When time to serve, pour into a large pitcher and add the white wine and stir. Move liquid and fruit into wine glasses, over ice (optional), until about 2/3 full. Top up each with the sparkling wine or ginger ale.

Serves: 4-5

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