A perfect summer party IMHO would include delicious pitchers of sangria.  I’ve included two recipes for pitcher sangria using drink syrups. One is a white (blanco) sangria and one is a cherry sangria with red wine. There are dozens of great sangria recipes.  These two are my favorites.

Topping off shrub syrups with Champagne
Making Sangria with shrub syrups and topping off with Champagne

Tips for Making Great Pitchers of Sangria

  • Soak the fruit for a whole day in Rum, Triple Sec, Brandy or some other spirit. It makes a difference to really get the fruit infused into the wine. If you are in a rush you can microwave the fruit and liquor for 30 seconds but it’s a shabby second to letting it slowly infuse.
  • Many recipes include a variety of fruits (like peaches or strawberries).  The classic Spanish sangria only includes citrus and if you want to be true to the form, stick with citrus.
  • Fill the glass with ice first and then use a pitcher that has a strainer on the spout. If you use a regular pitcher you’ll keep filling everyone’s glass with large chunks of fruit or ice.
  • Slice the fruit or cut into large wedges.  Don’t chop or mince the fruit.  It doesn’t look attractive in the pitcher, and it won’t infuse into the wine in the same way.
  • Use inexpensive wines.  The fruit and sugar will mask any of the subtle flavors an expensive wine.
  • If the sangria is too sweet, add some more wine (a dry wine like merlot or cabernet).  You can also add some lemon juice.
  • If the sangria is too sour, add a can of orange soda pop or lemon-lime soda
  • If the sangria is too “winey”, add some flavorings.  Examples might include:  cinnamon sticks, fruit flavored rum, ginger ale, tawny port, orange liqueur (like triple sec), or fruity drink syrups.

How to make your own shrub syrups

Click here for details on making your own shrub syrups.

White (Blanco) Pitchers of Sangria

Ingredients for making white Sangria for pitcher drinks
Ingredients for making white Sangria for pitcher drinks


  • 2 (750 ml) bottles dry white wine (i.e., Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur (Triple Sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier)
  • 1/4 cup brandy (or amber rum)
  • 1/2 cup flavored syrup (I used Cinnamon-Vanilla syrup)
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups of something carbonated or sparkling (i.e., lemon-lime soda, sparkling water, sparkling wine like Prosecco)


Combine all ingredients, except for the fresh mint and the lemon-lime soda, in a large container.  Cover and chill 4 hours. Stir in lemon-lime soft drink and mint just before serving. Serve over ice, if desired.

Red Sangria with Cherry Shrub Syrups


  • 2 bottles red wine with cherry undertones
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur (triple sec)
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 3/4 cup flavored syrup (I used 5-spice cherry syrup)
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups sparkling water or sparkling wine
  • fresh mint to garnish


Combine all ingredients except mint in a large container.  Cover and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 24.


  1. Denise Peavey on August 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    could I use a cherry rum?

    • Dorothy Stainbrook on September 15, 2016 at 10:14 am

      That sounds delicious Denise!! It would make it a little sweeter so you might want to adjust here and there, but I think it would be delightful (sorry for the late reply!).

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