I grew up in a German household. Even though we lived in South Africa, my parents stuck to German traditions when it came to mixing wine with anything. In the winter, we would have Glühwein (mulled wine).
My fondest memories are of getting cosy and enjoying a hot mug of mulled wine that smelled and tasted like Christmas, in July. In summer, they would make the occasional Bowel (punch) which was more often than not made with fresh fruit soaked overnight in white wine sangria.
Being the creature of habit that I am, for me winter means red wine, and summer means white wine. On my first trip to Spain to watch the Formula One in Catalunya, I could not for the life of me understand how the people of Spain could enjoy red sangria in the peak of the hot and humid European summer.
I was nearly beside myself when I learned of the new Sangria trend: White Wine Sangria.
White wine sangria is everything. Unlike it’s red counterpart, this drink is much lighter, and provides infinite combinations with fresh fruit and herbs. All you need to know is which wines to use and you can mix and combine to your heart’s desire.
The rules are simple: The dryer and more acidic the wine, the better. White wine sangria is already a sweet drink, so adding sweeter wine will inevitably lead to an unwelcome sugar high.
A finalist of the World Class bartending competition once told me that the secret to a good cocktail is using fresh fruit and herbs. This makes it easier to control the sugar levels in the drink, as well as providing a wonderful platform for experimentation to bring out the best in the wine.
Take for example a wine such as the Carrol Boyes Chenin Blanc. This wine already has a bouquet of tropical fruit and green apples, so when using it to make white wine sangria, why not use a recipe which will enhance that flavour in the wine?
Below is a fantastic white wine sangria recipe by the wonderful Rachel Ray. It is light, fruity, zesty and everything one would hope for in a cold refreshing summery drink.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 glasses
- 1 lime, sliced
- 3 green apples, cut into wedges, seeds removed
- 3 tbs sugar
- 1 pt. raspberries
- 132 ml (3 shots) apple liquor
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 2 peaches, cut into wedges
- Sparkling soda water
- 1 bottle of dry white wine
Mix the apple liquor, lemon, sugar, apples, peaches and lime in a large jug or pitcher. Then add 1 bottle of wine. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Before serving, add some fruit from the pitcher, as well as some raspberries to each glass. Then pour in the sangria and top up each glass with some soda water.