Summer Sangria

Summer Sangria

No, I have not forgotten you, my dear readers. I have been distracted with the World Cup (but you already knew that), the long days and an unfortunate encounter that left me questioning my faith in humanity. But beyond all of that, just as I was about to sit down to publish this post last Sunday, anticipating the champions previously selected by a German cephalapod, my digestive tract decided to rebel, denying me any sleep and obliterating all plans in the process. After two whole days stuck in bed and another two spent regaining strength, life is finally returning to normal.

And the timing couldn’t be any better.

In the words of a former co-worker on waning Friday afternoons, “It’s Sangria Weather”. Code words for a countdown to office Happy Hours. Long days, shorts, flip flops and summer dresses do wonders for the mood and life feels like one big celebration. Like anything is possible, and every opportunity is there for the taking. Have you ever felt this way? It doesn’t quite qualify as ‘inspiration’ or ‘ambition’, not in the traditional sense at least, it’s more like a current of energy, propelling one to meet life head-on.

Perhaps the rhythm of the seasons are provoking these reflections; the temporality of everything we put on our plate and into our mouths only heightens my awareness of the impermanent nature of everything around us. It’s the middle of July and already there’s so much of summer I want to bottle up, preserve and immortalize, before it makes way for Fall. There is no time to waste!

And so this variation on one of my favorite cocktails. A Summer Sangria, where peaches and nectarines stand in for the apples that we traditionally use, the mix of alcohols slowly coaxing their summer sweetness to add to the pool of flavor. You’ll want to use young and firm stone fruit, rather than ripe and soft ones, as the former will maintain their shape and hold up to the alcohol better, the longer you let the cocktail sit.

Summer Sangria (for one 750ml bottle of rioja; makes about 8 to 10 servings)

2 pounds/ 1 kg organic young peaches and nectarines, cut into half-inch cubes
Half a navel orange, cut into eighths
1 meyer lemon, cut into eighths or smaller, depending on the size of the lemon
1 bottle rioja
3 tablespoons grand marnier
2 tablespoons armagnac
1 tablespoon white rum
16 fl oz/ 472 ml apple juice

Place the peaches, nectarines, orange and lemon cubes into a large pot or glass/ceramic bowl. Add the wine, liquors, apple juice and mix. Give the concoction a taste and correct it to your desired level of sweetness by adding more apple juice.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled and consume within a week.


  1. I love, love, love Sangria although (and I’m sure this is no surprise to you) I have to be careful–it hits you! I tend to sit back and drink it like juice…I’m interested in the addition of apple juice here. So often recipes call for sugar which I don’t love, so I think this is cool. Can’t wait to try! And so glad you’re feeling better (and I owe you an email!)

    • The sweetness is deceiving, especially on a warm day, a glass of this goes down way too quickly. Apple juice is M’s idea, as its light and not too overpowering on the palate. When we have them, we also add a couple of Medjool dates too.

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  3. Summer days are just so much better with sangria. It even gets my mind off of the mosquitos that are out in droves. I like the idea of peaches and nectarines in sangria. I’m much more accustomed to citrus fruit and cucumbers.

  4. Ah, I just had sangria (it contained peaches) yesterday in a Latino restaurant and we were saying how much we missed those days when we were living in Andalusia…

    And of course we were uncorking Riojas (M de C – we used to drink alot of it too) and having it with our lomos. Also also making sangrias (but not with them since we had more choice in Spain when it came to their wines) or just tinto de verano…

    Your post has reinforced my fuzzy intentions to celebrate Spanish – made difficult by the hot weather which is robbing me of any will to move or do anything.

    Hope you have recovered from your unfortunate encounter.

  5. Nothing a good sangria cannot cure, and I love the addition of the fresh stone fruit. So yummy.

    I hope that after a glass (or two) your faith in humanity is restored. They did bring you the Sangria after all. Levity aside, I am sorry to hear about the recent difficulties and hope things are better now.

  6. outsideoslo

    You’re right, sangria is such a lovely way to celebrate summer. Your recipe sounds wonderful; I’ve never had a sangria with armagnac, and it sounds delicious!

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