Sangria is a vibrant, fruity punch that’s perfect for enjoying with friends on a hot summer’s day. This classic pitcher drink is simply made, with good wine and fresh fruit, sometimes warmed with a drop of liquor or sweetened with fruit juice. Originally from Spain and Portugal, sangria is traditionally made using a fruity red wine like Rioja, so if you enjoy the classics, you’ll love our recipe for red sangria.
These days, sangria has diversified to include a range of delicious fruit and wine punches. These sangrias can be made with traditional red wine, white wine (sangria blanca), rosé, sparkling, dessert wines, or even cider. You can also experiment with different combinations of fruit according to what you like and what’s in season.
Where sangria was born
Early versions of sangria date back to the days when the Iberian peninsula belonged to the Roman Empire, over 2,000 years ago. Although there was some wine growing in the region already, the Romans dedicated more land to vineyards and provided the wine technology and road networks necessary for large scale production.
Once popularised, wine was often used to fortify drinking water. In the days before modern sanitation, drinking water was unsafe by itself, and adding alcohol to kill bacteria was common practise. This watered down wine was usually fairly unpleasant, so fruit and spices were added to disguise the flavour. The first recorded use of the word ‘sangria’ to describe the drink dates back to the 18th century. It means ‘bloodletting’, a reference to the blood-red colour of traditional red sangria.
Under EU regulations, true sangria should come from Spain or Portugal, and contain between 4 and 12% alcohol by volume. But even traditional Spanish or Portuguese sangrias can vary wildly in their choice of wine, fruit, spirits and any other added extras. There are Spanish versions of sangria that use white wine, cava or cider, for example.
White peach sangria recipes
One of our favourite sangria combinations is white peach sangria, made with white wine and ripe white peaches. It makes a mellow, refreshing cocktail with a blush pink colour that looks really pretty in the pitcher.
Check out our sensational summer sangria recipes for a quick and easy video tutorial showing you how to make a simple, layered peach sangria using fresh white peaches, peach wine and peach liqueur, with sweet raspberries and crisp green apples, a squeeze of lemon juice, club soda and ice. This link includes several other mouthwatering sangria recipes, including strawberry rose sangria, tropical sangria, and margarita sangria.
We also love this refreshing white peach sangria from All Recipes, made with peaches, red and white grapes, dry white wine and peach vodka.
Many classic sangrias use a drop of brandy for added warmth, and this four-ingredient white peach sangria from The Kitchn adapts the tradition by using a peach or apricot brandy to complement the peach slices. Their wine of choice is a slightly sweet, lightly sparkling Italian Moscato, which also has peach notes, and the whole thing is topped up with a peach-flavoured seltzer.
Which wine to use for sangria
To make white peach sangria, you would normally use a white wine. Because sangria is traditionally made with red wine, it can be difficult to find advice on selecting a good white for your homemade sangria, but we’ve got a few tips that should help you pick the perfect bottle.
Although red is the traditional choice for sangria, there are actually fewer ‘don’ts’ when choosing a white wine to make sangria. White wines are lower in tannins than reds, with fewer bitter or astringent notes that threaten to overpower the fruit. The only thing you really need to avoid is a wine that has been oak-aged, as this adds a smoky flavour that doesn’t pair well with fruit.
But to really take your white wine sangria to the next level, try matching your fruit with a wine that has similar notes in its flavour profile. For example, if you’re using a lot of citrus flavours, a citrusy wine like Riesling would be a good pairing.
To complement a white peach sangria, look for wines with peach or apricot notes. Pinot Grigio (or Pinot Gris) is a good choice, particularly the dry, fruity varieties from California and Oregon, which have notes of lemon, yellow apple, and white peach. For a bolder flavour, try a full-bodied French Viognier, with perfumed aromas of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle, but be careful to avoid anything oaked.
If you’d like to try a sparkling sangria, a frizzante Italian Moscato works perfectly. Known for its sweet peach and orange blossom flavours, Moscato has a relatively low alcohol content, at 5.5% ABV, so you can use it for a lighter, low-alcohol sangria, or ramp up the alcohol with a shot of peach brandy.
If you’re looking to make a classic red wine sangria, choose a wine that’s low in bitter tannins, and full of fruity flavours. As with whites, avoid anything oaked, and opt for an uncomplicated, easy-drinking red. For more tips on how to choose the perfect red, take a look at our guide to the best red wines for sangria.
Tips and tricks
Whether you prefer your sangria red, white, rosé or sparkling, here are some simple tricks you can use to make it the very best it can be.
Make your sangria the day before to allow all those delicious fruity flavours time to infuse themselves into the wine. All sangria is best served chilled, so you can leave it in the refrigerator overnight, and in the morning it will be deliciously cool and full of flavour. If you’re using sparkling water or soda, add that just prior to serving, so it doesn’t go flat.
The best sangrias have a good balance of fruit and wine. Between 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruit for an average-sized pitcher should be plenty. It’s also a good idea to cut your fruit into smaller pieces to help release their juices and make them easier to eat.
Most importantly, choose ingredients you enjoy. One of the great things about sangria is that it’s so customisable, so have fun trying out different combinations with all your favourite fruits, wines and spirits.