If you need pitcher cocktails for your 4th of July celebration or Summer barbecue, this white sangria with brandy is a great option. Not only is Red White and Blue Sangria a beautiful, tasty 4th of July cocktail, but wine spritzer recipes are so quenching on a hot day.
If you browse through the past 4 1/2 years of this blog, you won’t find much in the way of “literal” translations of holiday recipes. While I do have several iterations of pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving and Christmas cookie recipes galore, not to mention tasty food inspiration for Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day, there aren’t any “pilgrim” decorated cupcakes or Grinch-y cookies and to date, I’ve avoided flag-inspired food. Until now. Red White and Blue Sangria is delightfully patriotic without being cartoonishly literal.
I’m not opposed to those crafty folks who can make a deviled egg look like an Easter chick but since my daughter is grown up, there just doesn’t seem to be any point to doing that in our house. However, my fuddy-duddiness ends now with this Red White and Blue Sangria. This white wine sangria recipe makes 4th of July cocktails that are simultaneously patriotic and refreshing.
Making Red White & Blue Sangria:
- Start your Red White and Blue Sangria several hours before serving or even the day before so the fruit and liquors can infuse.
- Into a large pitcher, add a good, drinkable white wine (I like a sauvignon blanc, but a pinot grigio, sancerre or vouvray would be nice too).
- Add a sweetener. This could be in the form of simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar), agave, or honey. For this version, I use a honey simple syrup .
- Add the brandy. For this one, I like Calvados — a French apple brandy that I think is pretty special. It can sometimes be hard to find, not to mention a bit expensive. You can substitute another good sippable brandy if you can’t find Calvados.
- Cut the fruit – if you’re using the star cutters, slice the fruit into 1/4″- 1/2″ slices and use the cutters to create the star shapes.
- Otherwise, chop the fruit into bite sized chunks (leave berries whole) and add them to the pitcher.
- Chill the sangria for several hours until well chilled or overnight.Just before serving add the sparkling water to the pitcher, or individually to each glass of Red White and Blue Sangria.
Red, White and Blue Fruit Ideas:
Here are some ideas for the red white and blue fruit (note, not all fruit really work for cutting out star shapes).
- Watermelon (cut into bite sized chunks or into star shapes)
- Strawberries (cut into bite sized chunks depending on how large)
- Granny Smith Apples (peeled, cut into bite sized chunks or star shapes)
- Dragon Fruit (peeled)
- Rambutan (peeled)
- Lychee (peeled)
- Guava – White Fleshed (peeled, cut into bite sized chunks)
- Peaches – White Fleshed (peeled, cut into bite sized chunks)
- Blue or Violet Plums (quartered)
While you can certainly use any red fruits you like in your 4th of July cocktails, I’m particular to watermelon for two reasons. First, it’s really easy to cut into shapes (I’m including links below for star shaped cutters) – the flesh yields easily to the cutter and it holds its shape beautifully. The second reason is osmosis. You know, molecules flowing across a semipermeable membrane until a homeostatic state is created.
In food talk — the watermelon gives it’s flavors to the sangria — and the sangria gets soaked up into the watermelon — even better if you’ve added the sparkling water to the mix — because then the watermelon takes on an effervescent quality. Don’t believe me??? Put a slice in your next gin and tonic and let it soak for a few minutes — then try the watermelon…
The osmosis effect is less noticeable with apple slices, but apples are certainly the perfect tart, white fruit for the star cut out – though I think it would be really eye-popping with dragon fruit and their little black seeds (my market was out of them when I looked).
After the fruit and liquor have had a good soak, they’re ready for a party.
To make it extra festive, I used these star-shaped ice cube trays to keep this white sangria with brandy cold. I got these at Ikea several years ago, so I’m not sure if they still have them, but I’ve added affiliate links for a similar ice cube mold at the end of this post in case you want to get your own.
This 4th of July cocktail is perfect as it is, but if you like a little fizz, add the sparkling water for effervescence.
Red White and Blue Sangria is ready for your holiday barbecue, picnic, or potluck! Enjoy!
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Red White and Blue Sangria
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 750 ml bottle sauvignon blanc or other dry white wine
- 1/2 cup Calvados or other apple brandy
- 2 green apples
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries
- 6-7 slices watermelon cut into 1/2" slices
- 2 cups club soda or sparkling water
- If you have the star ice cube molds, fill them with water and freeze until you have about 3 cups of star shaped ice cubes.
- In a small saucepan combine the honey and water over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly until mixture becomes a honey simple syrup. Remove from heat to cool.
- Add the calvados, honey simple syrup and bottle of wine to a large pitcher.
Prepare the fruit:
- Slice the apple into 1/4" thin slices. Use the star cutter to press out stars in the apple flesh until you have about 1 cup of apple stars. Add the stars to the sangria.
- Use the star cutter to press out stars in the watermelon slices and add them to the sangria. Add the blueberries to the sangria, stir and refrigerate for 3 hours or until very cold.
- Add the sparkling water to the pitcher along with the star shaped ice cubes and serve.
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