You know a recipe is going to be good when it starts off with a 21st birthday story. Please, bear with me.
On my 21st birthday back in the summer of 2007, I gathered up two of my best friends and my dad and we went to On the Border Mexican Cantina (classy, I know). In a surprisingly un-awkward act of kindness, my father offered to buy me my first official alcoholic beverage of my young adult life. And what did I choose? A sangria swirl.
My sister had been telling me about these things for years. I’d heard many tales of how she and her then-boyfriend, Tommy, would slurp them down with legs intertwined on romantic dates. She even claimed at one point that they came up with their best ideas over sangria swirls. Even at my then-formative age of 17, I knew it was the alcohol doing the trick.
So I ordered my first sangria swirl, and slurped it right down. And when our waiter caught wind that it I was turning 21, he insisted on bringing me another drink on the house – a 4th of July-themed margarita swirl. Oh boy.
Needless to say, my petite, 120-pound frame couldn’t handle that quantity of alcohol and I do reckon I stumbled out of that place as happy as a clam. And yes, with my father in tow. It was a birthday to be remembered for years to come, that’s for sure.
Now at almost 26, I’m still quite fond of sangria, and often persuade my husband to pick me up a glass at the various summertime events we attend. But I’ve never attempted to make it at home before this recipe. And what better occasion than Memorial Day to make an all-American, red, white and blue sangria? That’s exactly what I thought.
One bottle sweet white wine of your choice (we used Sauvignon Blanc)
1/3 container of fruit juice concentrate (we used apple cherry)
3 oz. Driscoll’s blueberries, rinsed
3 oz. Driscoll’s raspberries, rinsed
1/2 pint of Driscoll’s strawberries, de-stemmed and quartered
Pour wine into large pitcher, then add fruit concentrate and stir. While it incorporates, lightly muddle your berries in a large mixing bowl until a bit of juice forms at the bottom. Then add fruit to the wine mixture and stir. Serve chilled.
Having never tried sangria made with white wine before, I didn’t know quite what to expect. But the combination was perfect. I loved how the sweetness of the wine complemented the tartness of the berries. It was cool, light and refreshing, and provided lots of yummy wine-soaked berries at the end of the glass. It was pure, summertime bliss.
And at just a little over 240 calories and 15 grams of sugar per serving, I didn’t feel one shred of guilt about downing an entire glass.
These are great on their own, but we highly recommend trying them with our Red, White and Blue Turkey Burgers for a delightful and festive summertime treat.
All photos by Dana Shultz. Recipes by Brandi Koskie.