Red wine is not the first beverage I tend to want on a hot summer day. There is, however, an exception to that- when it’s made into Sangria!
Cherry Berry Sangria is the perfect way to kick off summer.
This weekend marks the official start of summer, and it just so happens that the fruit that’s in season now is some of my most favorite. Given all of that, it made sense to make a summery cocktail to celebrate! Plus, the sweetness of the berries and cherries felt like a good way to add sweetness to the sangria without adding too much sugar.
When choosing a wine for sangria, go with something fruity and not too heavy. I used to be an advocate of buying cheap wine for sangria, but I’ve changed my tune now that I’ve spent more time looking into what happens in parts of the wine industry. Wine can have sugar and sugar concentrates added to it, and the label need not disclose that; liquor label laws allow that. Also, sulfite levels aren’t disclosed either, and wines can have up to 350ppm added to them. That’s a LOT.
I made the switch to Clean Crafted Wine in the Fall of last year, and it’s been a major upgrade. Here’s why:
- First of all, I have loved all of the wines I’ve tried, every single bottle has been excellent. The founder of the wine club I’m a part of is a level 3 sommelier, that means she knows her wine. There are only around 300 of them in the world!
- I haven’t gotten wine headaches or hangovers. Before, as little as one glass of wine could result in me getting a hangover the next day, or sometimes a headache before I even finished the glass!
- I can feel good about the wine I’m drinking, for myself, the vineyard workers, and the environment. Wines from Scout & Cellar are produced organically and bottled consciously. It’s truly wine as nature intended.
If you look up a few basic sangria recipes, you’ll see that most of them have lots of added sugar. Many have soda added. Most also have an additional alcohol added, such as brandy. If you want to give your sangria an extra punch, you could definitely add some of that.
For this one, though, I wanted to lighten it up. A little bit of tart cherry juice adds some sweetness without making it cloying, and sparkling water is all you need to give it a little bit of effervescence.
You’ll want to make this a few hours ahead of serving it- long enough for the fruit to infuse and add flavor. Make sure to add the sparkling water and ice right when you’re ready to serve it. And if guests show up unannounced and you don’t have time to let it sit, no one will be mad at you, and it will still be delicious.
Light and summery- perfect for backyard BBQs!
- 1 bottle fruity red wine*
- 2 cups tart red cherry juice
- 12 ounces cherries, (pitted and halved (about 2 cups))
- 1 pound strawberries, (washed, hulled, and quartered (about 3 cups))
- 6 ounces raspberries, (about 1 heaping cup)
- 6 ounces blackberries, (about 1 heaping cup)
- 2 cups sparkling water
- In a large pitcher, combine the wine, cherry juice, and fruit. Stir to combine and refrigerate for 2-8 hours. (It will still be good if you serve it right away, but will be more flavorful if you allow the fruit to infuse)
- When ready to serve, add the sparkling water and ice.
*Many sangrias are the stuff of hangovers, which can be for a few reasons:
- So much added sugar in the recipe, in the form of soda and actual sugar
- Using wine that also potentially has added sugar- labels need not disclose if any is added, and many mass produces wines add sugar and grape juice concentrate to fix the flavor of the wine
- High sulfite levels or pesticide residue in the wine.
My recommendation for wine used in sangria used to be “just buy the cheap stuff!”, but now that I’ve delved a bit deeper into the wine industry, I’m changing my tune. I recommend clean crafted wine for this, as well as for cooking and sipping.
I only use my cherry pitter a handful of times per year, but when I do use it, I’m so glad I have it. I like to just tear the cherries in half after pitting them.
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