Making Drinkable Sangria

I’m quitting drinking for a week or two, but prior to this I was experimenting with making a jug of sangria once per week. Then it became twice a week. Before I knew it I was having sangria parties on my balcony with all these new idiots I’ve met here in the OC.

Here are some tips to making sangria that people (especially women) will enjoy:

  • Buy the big jug that says “Sangria” to start. You’re new at this otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. I know you want to find out what wine(s) a great sangria is comprised of but I don’t know and neither do you and neither does anyone on any of those ridiculous recipe sites. Start here, fancypants.
  • Soak the fruit for a whole day in Rum, Triple Sec, Brandy or something else. A whole day. I know this part sucks but you’ve gotta have a little foresight. If you are in a rush you can microwave the chopped up fruit and liquor for 30 seconds but I don’t recommend it really.
  • Don’t get too crazy with the fruits;  keep it mostly citrus. I was at this art show recently in downtown Santa Ana and some guy wearing a shirt that was not a grown man’s shirt made this sangria that had peaches and strawberries in it. If a Spanish person even saw a peach or a strawberry they’d attack it with one of those curved pirate swords because they are afraid of things they don’t understand.
  • Use a jug with a spout. If you use a regular pitcher you’ll keep filling everyone’s glass with fruit or ice. That said, fill the glass with ice from a bag or tray of ice before filling with sangria.
  • Use red wine style glasses.
  • Don’t cut the fruit too small. If it looks like someone ate a can of fruit cocktail and then vomited it into your jug of sangria that isn’t sexy and has little impact on the flavor.
  • Add one secret ingredient and don’t tell anyone what it is.


  • The sangria is too bitter/sour!

This happened to me one night after waiting all day and talking up my sangria to a friend. I Skyped my friend who is from Barcelona. “Can you get a can of orange soda?” he asked. “Of course I can, this is America!” I said.  I added the can of orange soda and it was perfect.

  • The sangria is too sweet!

Get a bottle of CHEAP merlot or cabernet and dump it in. Your Sangria is fixed. Still too sweet? Lemon juice.

  • My Sangria is lacking that certain je ne sais quois

I know, Sangria is supposed to taste magical. If yours just tastes like grape juice with some vodka in it add one of the following:

  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Fruit flavored tea
  • fruit flavored rum
  • grenadine
  • Orange Soda
  • Ginger Ale
  • 2 glasses of Tawny Port
  • Cactus Cooler
  • Gran Marnier/ Cointreau/ Etc
  • Can of fruit cocktail, syrup and all



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