One summer, after my parents returned from a trip to Spain, my mother went on a gazpacho and a sangria tear. It seemed every week she trotted out the chilled cups of tomato-ey soup for our al fresco dinner, but the sangria made it to the patio more often than that.

Whenever I make gazpacho, I think of her and how she loved trying new recipes. And whenever I make sangria, I use her recipe and recall fondly those warm nights outdoors with my family.

With Cinco de Mayo arriving next week, I thought it would be fun to try a few different variations of sangria to celebrate the occasion. The name “sangria” comes from the Spanish word for “blood,” so named for its blood-red color of the grapes. Sangria blanco (white sangria) which uses peaches, bananas, oranges and apples, is also as refreshing and delicious. I’m offering two recipes for you to try in the hopes that the evening will be warm on May 5 so that you can enjoy the outdoors.

Sangria Blanco

Adapted from “Field Guide to Cocktails” by Rob Chirico

(750-ml) bottle dry white wine

2 teaspoons superfine sugar

1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks

1 orange, sliced

2 peaches, peeled and cut into 6 wedges each

1 red apple, peeled, cored, and diced

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup seedless red grapes

12 ounces club soda or lemon-lime soda

Place 4 wine glasses in the freezer or refrigerator to chill.

Pour the wine and sugar into a pitcher and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and chill for an hour. Serves 4.


Adapted from “101 Sangrias & Pitcher Drinks” by Kim Haasarud. To make a pitcher, multiply ingredients accordingly.

3 ounces red wine

1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice

3/4 ounce Cognac

2 orange slices, plus more for garnish

2 lime slices, plus more for garnish

2 lemon slices, plus more for garnish

2 to 3 ounces soda water or lemon-lime soda


Combine all of the ingredients except the soda in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until well-chilled, about 20 to 30 seconds. Pour into a large glass filled with ice. Top with the soda water or lemon-lime soda and garnish with additional orange, lime, or lemon slices. Makes 1 drink.

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