It was on my first trip to Chicago some years ago that I really discovered Sangria. I’m convinced this was the start of my addiction, because I still remember it so vividly! I can picture the night, the shape of the bar, the other patrons…and then the memory just gets dreamy! This tall, gorgeous red sangria was set in front of me and everything becomes brighter and more colorful and surreal…like in the movie ‘What Dreams May Come’ (okay, the movie itself may not have been great…). The art direction and the colors Robin Williams experiences while in heaven as he picks a flower which just melts into his hand…Call it love, call it the booze – that’s the sangria I remember!

How to recreate this, though? I’ve come to realize I will never be able to recreate this. Nor do I think I want to. It’s just time to make my own version. You’re going to enjoy this sangria for its fruitiness and slight fizziness. I used whatever fruit I had on hand, so you do the same. Drop in some apple chunks or try watermelon. Sangria, to me, is just another reason to love wine and to have fun with it! Mix, drink and create lasting, lively memories to be fat and happy with.

Classic Sangria

1 lemon, juiced (slice up the rinds and add for flavor and color)
1 lime, juiced (slice up the rinds and add for flavor and color)
1 orange, juiced (slice up the rinds and add for flavor and color)
1 orange, sliced in thin rounds
1 can pineapple
2 shots gin
1 1/2 bottles of red wine

Add all the above ingredients to a large pitcher. If you need the sangria immediately – mix in the remaining ingredients below and serve. If you have time to let this steep, do. An hour up to 24 hours works great. Add in the rest of the ingredients just before serving:

1 cup frozen strawberries
2 cups ginger ale (more or less depending on you interest in the bubbles)

Add fresh fruit chunks (cherries, apples, oranges, pears, berries, etc)
Serve in a tall, pretty glass.

Tips and Techniques: A basic red table wine works great for sangria rather than using your expensive wines. Make this ahead of time if you can to allow the flavors to meld.

Find more great recipes on Monique’a Blog at

Share this! (You know you want to.)

Got something to say? Say it loud!