Sangria and a Drunken Fruit Salad

Sangria, a classic wine-based Spanish drink, is refreshing summer drink and also the inspiration for a light fruit based dessert.

It’s been many years since my husband and I first started drinking sangria and in those early days it was only the pre-mixed stuff from the bottle shop. It was only after a trip to Spain and a lucky find of the excellent tapas bar La Cava del Europa in Seville that we appreciated freshly, specially mixed sangria.

We realised very quickly after arriving at La Cava del Europa what a special find it was and took the only course of reasonable action, that is, we methodically worked our way through the entire tapas menu; all of it joyfully washed down with sangria. I found the food to be a bit hit-and-miss in Spain so this was a definite highlight.

My husband and I don’t really drink much these days …. old age, small children …. but I was inspired to make it again after reading Deb’s recent post at Smitten Kitchen. Deb’s recipe very much replicates the sangria we enjoyed so much in Spain and drinking it was a nice way to remember and reminisce about more carefree times spent travelling … before falling asleep on the lounge.

Do you enjoy Sangria? Do you make your own or buy it ready mixed?


adapted only very slightly from Smitten Kitchen

1 bottle of dry red wine (such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, zinfandel, pinot noir or syrah/shiraz)
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup triple sec (I used Cointreau)
1/2 cup orange juice (about one orange)
1 cinnamon stick

Mix all ingredients together in a large jug and chill in the fridge until needed.

To serve
Fresh fruit such as apples, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, plums, melon, berries
Sparkling mineral water or soft drink (such as lemonade or orange soft drink such as San Pellegrino aranciata, Schweppes Agrum Blood Orange or Fanta)


If you are having a large party, and by that I mean more than just you and one other, you may wish to add the fruit and about 1 cup of sparkling mineral water/soft drink to the jug and serve.

I prefer to add ice, fruit and chilled sangria to the glass before deciding if it needs any mineral water or soft drink added. What to add, and how much, depends on the wine selected and, of course, one’s personal taste. Also, I never intend for my husband and I to drink the entire amount, even if that usually happens. Sangria is very easily drinkable despite being so alcoholic!

So I suppose you are wondering where the dessert comes into all of this. The sliced fruit that is served with the sangria soaks up the flavours and is delicious to eat but it can be a little tricky to eat from the bottom of the glass. So I thought I would elevate it from mere dregs-in-the-glass to a simple but elegant dessert suitable for a summer party.


So here is a suggestion for a Sangria Fruit Salad

serves about 4

1 orange, peeled and segmented
1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
1 green apple, cored and sliced
1 red apple, cored and sliced
1/4 rockmelon, balled
handful grapes
1/2 tsp orange zest
pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup sangria (without the sparkling mineral water/soft drink added)

More robust fruits, such as apples and citrus, will do well with a few hours soaking in sangria while the more delicate fruits, such as melon and berries, may be added at time of serving. I would recommend that you cut the fruit and leave to soak before you start drinking the sangria as it is likely that the sangria will run out quickly. Or at least that’s my experience anyway.

Serve with either cream or ice cream if you would prefer something more luxurious. If I had more time I would have made David Lebovitz’s Cinnamon Ice Cream however I didn’t, so I cheated by adding some freshly ground cinnamon into vanilla ice cream I already had in the freezer. I have no doubt that David’s ice cream would have been better so I’ll have to make the time for it!



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