I have been making a more mindful version of sangria for a couple of years now so it’s about time I share my secret recipe. The great thing about sangria is that you can create all different kinds of boozy blends. As much as I love a sparkling white sangria featuring every seasonal summer fruit (and mint, always mint), my most favourite to sip on is the classic traditional red wine sangria. There is just something about the original combination of citrus fruits and ruby red strawberries that make my heart go boom.
Sangria is the staple 'girl’s night out' beverage once summer hits. We simply replace our lone bottles of vino for paradisiac punches that we create with those favourite bottles of wine. Sangria is also a summertime go-to when hosting parties of any kind because it is very cost efficient. One bottle of cheap red, rose, or white wine can go a long way once we add all of the other ingredients. It is a great way to stay within budget and please the guests all in one shot. Summertime sangria is always a win-win.
The exciting news when it comes to my sangria recipe is that it contains no added sugars! I simply rely on the natural sweetness of the traditional fruits and the wine to please the palate. I also chose to use ginger ale made by “Zevia.” Zevia is soda pop brand that makes all the traditional soda flavours but they are only sweetened with stevia. Like splenda, stevia also counts as calorie free but it does differ from the artificial sweetener in the most crucial matter: it is all-natural. Stevia comes from leafy green plant and is not a toxic chemical concoction that can cause harmful side effects when used in little or large amounts depending on who you are. Because stevia is calorie free it is also labeled as sugar free (however it is necessary to check the ingredient label as some brands do add sugars to their stevia-especially the powders). The all-natural sweetener can be bought in both liquid and powder form and is ten times sweeter than regular sugar. It is for this reason that when we do choose to use it in our baking and cooking, we must use it sparingly. Adding too much stevia can result in a very strong and bitter taste (I learned this the hard way). I prefer using liquid stevia when I do and there are even naturally flavoured vials like vanilla, lemon, chocolate, English toffee, peppermint, and so many more. Coffee lovers, this can change your life. You’re welcome.
So back to the sangria. I do want to say that when I first started making this, I did add some type of all natural sweetener. Going sugar free is not an overnight accomplishment. If you find that you need to add some sweet to your sangria, go right ahead and do so without guilt! You’ll eventually get to the point where you can part with it and until then, be proud as you are still cutting off a ridiculous amount of calories. This recipe allows us to sip without a sorry as we are omitting any extra liquor (like triple sec and/or brandy), and that “simple syrup” containing at least one cup of sugar. When I did add a sweetener to my blend I usually used coconut palm sugar and I believe I added approximately 2 tablespoons and gradually decreased that amount over time. You can also try adding a small amount of stevia (liquid or powder form) to keep it counting as a no sugar added boozy bevy. Cheers my lovely friends!
- 750 ml bottle of red wine (I used Bodacious Smooth Red-a Canadian wine and it’s only $10-score)
- 1 navel orange, chopped
- Juice of another navel orange (I just squeezed it out with my almighty muscular hand)
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped
- 1 lemon, wedged
- 1 lime, wedged
- 10 mint leaves
- 1 can of “Zevia” ginger ale (or sparkling water/club soda)
- Optional: extra ingredients for garnish
- In a large pitcher, add the chopped orange, strawberries, lemon, and lime. Also add the navel orange juice and the mint. Gently muddle these ingredients with a long spoon (this is to encourage the release of the mint’s essential oils and the juice from the fruits).
- Add the red wine and stir.
- Let this blend sit in the fridge overnight for the best results (at least let sit for several hours).
- Add the ginger ale or club soda, garnish, and serve!
What is your favourite variation of sangria? I love hearing all the twists people come up with. Let's share them all and then have a big sangria party-who's down?!