Who doesn’t love a fresh, fruity glass of chilled sangria? While it seems so easy to make, picking the right fruit for sangria is an important task.
What is the best fruit for sangria? The best fruits for sangria include apples, oranges, lemons, strawberries, pineapples, peaches, and plums. While you can get creative trying to come up with new fruit combinations for your sangria, the general rule is to add fruit that contains the same notes which are present in the wine.
This article is all about the fruit in sangria, from the best options to tips for improving the taste.
What Is Sangria?
If you don’t know what sangria is, you’re missing out. It’s a wine-based drink with the addition of fresh fruit slices or chunks and other ingredients, such as sugar, fresh juice, spirits, etc.
A refreshing Spanish drink, sangria is popular for gatherings in any season.
Traditionally made with red wine, sangria now has many varieties. You can choose between red, white, rosé, and sparkling wine. To boost the alcoholic content of sangria, a small amount of liqueur, bandy, or rum may be added.
Fresh juices and sparkling water are added to sangria as a soft mixer. To make sangria fizzy, lemon or lime soda is added. Fresh juices are mixed with the wine and spirit to add sweetness and a rich fruity taste to the drink.
A small amount of sugar can be used for additional sweetness.
Whatever drink you are adding to the wine, make sure it is not overpowering the notes of the fine drink, especially if it is a higher-quality wine.
And of course, you can’t forget the key part of any sangria – slices of fruits that bring all the flavors together and enhance the fruity notes of the wine.
What Is the Best Fruit for Sangria?
Sangria is not a drink of rules. You can always mix and match and find your perfect combination of wine and fruit. However, there are certain things worth considering when you want to make the best sangria for your event.
While you can use almost any fruit for sangria and come up with different fruit combinations, the general rule is to have at least two fruits in the drink – one citrus and one not.
Whatever fruit you choose, it is best to let the drink sit for a few hours or overnight, if possible. All the flavors will come together as the wine becomes infused with fruit juices, and the fruit slices soak up the alcohol.
Here are the best fruits to put in a sangria.
You can always count on apples. They are a staple fruit for sangria. You can cut them into bite-sized chunks or thinly slice them.
When choosing an apple variety for sangria, it is important to pay attention to the flavor profile of the fruit you are using. Honeycrisp and granny apples, for example, pair well with sweeter wines.
Due to their slightly tart flavor, these apple varieties balance out the sweetness of sangria.
Another traditional sangria fruit choice. If you are making sangria for the first time in your life and don’t know what citrus fruit to put in it, oranges it is. Blood orange is also a great choice if you don’t have regular oranges at hand.
Oranges and apples in the sangria made with red wine are a match made in heaven.
Aside from adding the needed citrusy notes to the sangria, oranges also look great in a transparent sangria jar.
When one says that citrus fruits are a ‘must’ in sangria, lemon is what comes to mind. If you are missing oranges, you can use lemons instead. However, lemons are good enough to be your first choice.
What makes lemons so good for sangria is that they work well not only in red sangrias but also in white sangrias and even those based on sparkling wine.
Cold white sangria with lemons is a heavenly pleasure, almost like alcoholic lemonade, especially on hotter days.
Strawberries, and berries in general, are a popular ingredient to be used in sangrias. Why? Because they are not overly sweet and are only slightly acidic, so they bring the perfect balance to sangria.
Strawberries taste best during the summer season. So, making the ultimate white sangria for your summertime events should be on your list.
If you don’t have strawberries at hand, you are free to use other berries, such as raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, and grapes.
In case you want to add a vibrant tropical flavor to the Spanish sangria, putting pineapple chunks in your drink is certainly worth a try.
Due to its unique taste profile, which represents a balance between sweet and tart, pineapple pairs well with wines that have tropical notes.
Pineapple is especially good in white sangrias. You can also use a cup of pineapple juice for an extra boost of flavors.
Pineapple is also suitable for use in red wine sangrias.
Nothing can beat juicy slices of peaches in white wine sangria.
Some varieties of peaches are acidic and tangy, while others are sweet with a slight acidity. In any case, peaches make a good addition to a well-balanced fruit combination in a sangria.
They pair well with citrus fruits, such as lemon and lime.
Plums are a delicious autumn fruit. They can taste sweet, tart, and anything in-between. Thus, if you have plums at hand and know how they taste, you can balance the taste out with other seasonal fruits.
Plums bring forth the cherry notes in the wine and play beautifully with fresh cherries in red wine.
How to Choose the Right Wine for Sangria
It is good to know the primary rule of combining the right kind of wine with the right fruits.
First off, when picking a wine for sangria, it is recommended to go with wines that are not too sweet, as you will be adding quite enough sweetness to the drink with fruits and juices.
Additionally, young wines with fruity notes work better for sangria than aged wines that are more tannic and oaky.
To come up with the most fitting fruit combination for the sangria, play with the fruit notes in the wine and enhance them with fresh fruits.
Plum and berry notes are popular in red wines, while citrus and orchard fruits are popular notes in white wines. Adding these fruits to the drink, along with others that pair well with them, will result in a well-balanced sangria.
Sangria Combinations and Fruit Pairings
Sangria is a drink that gives you enough space for creativity and your personal preferences. You can mix and match fruits and come up with unique combinations.
You can also experiment with wine varieties and fruits you put in them, but keep in mind that the goal is to enhance the notes in the wine and come up with a balanced taste.
Here are some ideas on what wine you can pair with all of the above-mentioned fruits, as well as fruit combinations that will result in a harmonious drink that is not overly sweet or acidic.
|Fruit||Wine Pairings||Fruit Pairings|
|Apple||White wine, red wine, sparkling wine||Orange, peach, pineapple, lemon, lime, strawberries|
|Orange||Red wine, white wine, rosé||Orange, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries), apple|
|Lemon||Red wine, white wine, rosé, sparkling wine||Orange, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries), apple|
|Strawberry||White wine, sparkling wine||Other berries, lemon, lime|
|Pineapple||White wine, red wine||Peach, green apple, grapes|
|Peach||White wine||Pineapple, grapes, apple, lemon, plum, orange|
|Plum||Red wine, rosé||Peach, cherries, pineapple, lemon|
Tips to Make Your Sangria Better
Making sangria better? Is that even possible. Well, we do have a few tips to get the perfect sangria for your next get-together:
- Pick Seasonal Fruits – If you are making sangria from scratch and have control over every ingredient from wine to fruits, go with seasonal fruits and buy a bottle of wine with similarly fruity notes. Seasonal fruits taste sweeter and richer, and your sangria will certainly benefit from it.
- Marinate the Fruit – If you are using such fruits in your sangria as peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums, or berries, marinate them the day before to make your sangria taste richer.
- Let the Fruits Sit in Sugar – They will become candied and produce a delicious syrup that will later sweeten the drink instead of plain sugar. You can also add spices, such as cinnamon and clove, to the fruits to add additional hues of flavor to the sangria.
- Use Frozen Fruit – Putting frozen fruit in the sangria, such as frozen blueberries, strawberries, or grapes, is a great way of keeping the drink chill without adding ice. Adding ice dilutes the sangria and affects the taste. Thus, adding frozen fruit is a good way to keep the drink cold.
Can You Add Fruit to Bottled Sangria?
If you prefer buying pre-made sangria instead of mixing it yourself, you can still take your drink to next level by adding fruit. Not only will this add freshness and color to the store-bought sangria, but it will also give it more flavor.
You can either add seasonal fruits or see which fruit notes are present in the drink and go from there.