There is nothing I love quite as much as an icy adult beverage on a hot summer afternoon, preferably with sprinklers running nearby and some grilled burgers in my immediate future.
But I have to admit that while I enjoy sipping cocktails, I am an extremely lazy maker of cocktails. Gin and tonics are about as fancy as I typically get, people.
This is why I am a huge fan of Maggie Hoffman’s latest cocktail book, Batch Cocktails. It is full of make-ahead, big-batch cocktails for lazy souls such as myself.
WHAT IS A BATCH COCKTAIL?
A batch cocktail is one that can be made, assembled, and pitcher-ed (technical term) entirely, or almost entirely, ahead of time. This is extremely useful for party situations when you’d rather be mingling with your friends with a beverage in hand, instead of standing at the counter shaking cocktails for a line of thirsty guests.
It’s also useful if you’d like to make a batch of cocktails as part of your Sunday meal prep and keep it stashed in the fridge for nightcaps during the week. Maggie has a whole list of recipes in her book that are perfect for this.
For me, the idea of prepping big batch cocktails feels more approachable. I have all the ingredients laid out. I get any finicky (to me) steps like simple syrups and muddling fruits done all at once. And I’m not doing this work for the reward of only a single cocktail.
MAGGIE’S BRILLIANT COCKTAIL BOOK
In Maggie’s expert hands, batch cocktails are more than just pouring a few different liquors together in a pitcher. These are nuanced recipes with depth and pizzazz.
Some are spirit-forward, like a riff on the Manhattan called Happiness. Some will take advantage of your herb garden, like the tequila-based Garden Rambler. Others will introduce you to new liquors while wooing you with fruity flavors, like the Side Porch Sangria I’m sharing today.
Maggie interviewed dozens of top bartenders and mixologists around the country while putting together this book. These batch cocktails are all based on their favorite fancy cocktails, but accessible to those of us without mixology degrees.
LET’S TALK SANGRIA
Ok, this sangria. This is not your typical super-sweet and fruity sangria, my friends. This one is for those of us who like to live on the edge and try new things.
Here’s what’s in it: dry white wine, Aperol, Campari, Carpano Antico, apricot juice, and grapefruit juice. It’s a boozy combo with a bitter-sweet flavor that works so very well as a summer afternoon sipper.
Carpano Antica was a relatively new one for me. I’ve seen it on cocktail menus, but never done anything with it myself. This stuff is the bomb, and now I’m keeping it stocked in my fridge (like white wine, carpano should be kept refrigerated!).
It’s a vermouth that tastes like a wacky-but-perfect blend of bitter herbs, warm baking spices (think: cinnamon and clove), orange peel, and some licorice root. Throw some vanilla in there too, and you’ve got it about right.
This Carpano adds that “something special” to this sangria, but I’ve also been enjoying it on its own over ice!
P.S. Looking for a booze-free sangria? We’re also sharing Maggie’s Pomegranate-Citrus Sans-gria recipe!
Q&A WITH MAGGIE HOFFMAN
Maggie has been a friend of mine for years now, and I’m absolutely thrilled to share her book and this sangria recipe with you. Here’s a little Q&A I did with her that I thought you’d enjoy!
What’s the most recent cocktail you had, and what was in it?
I went on a big book tour for Batch Cocktails and got to taste a bunch of the cocktails from the book again—we had some really fun parties at bars in San Francisco, New York, Portland, and Seattle! One of my favorites to taste again was the Grand Prix, which is like an espresso-tonic, with a little Campari and grapefruit juice. It somehow tastes like chocolate-covered raspberries, and I am HERE FOR IT.
What recipe is best if you’re SUPER lazy? (aka me)
The Happiness [a riff on the Manhattan] is SO easy! You can keep a batch around for a few weeks, or make it without water and keep it for MONTHS and months. I have a year-old batch that’s still delicious. Thank you, former self, for making cocktails for me!
How many bottles of liquor do you have in your liquor collection right now?
I actually just counted because we are about to move back to NYC: 200. I’m going to have to get that down quite a bit before moving, though. Party at my house?
Favorite snack to serve with cocktails?
Salty marcona almonds are great, and aged cheeses. It depends a bit on what’s in the cocktail. A lot of these drinks are actually great brunch drinks, so then I’m really into breakfast tacos.
TRY THESE OTHER SANGRIA RECIPES!
- Cranberry-Apple Sangria
- Pear and White Wine Sangria
- Mixed Berry Sangria
- Sparkling Strawberry Sangria
- 1 ripe peach, pitted and sliced
- 1 red apricot, pitted and sliced
- 5 strawberries, sliced in thirds
- 1 seedless orange, sliced in rounds
- 1/4 cup brandy, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau
- Pinch of granulated sugar
- 1 bottle dry red or white wine, such as Spanish Rioja or Bordeaux
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
Macerate the fruit: Soak peach, apricot, strawberries, and orange in brandy, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau and a pinch of sugar for up to one hour. In a pitcher with some ice, combine the macerated fruit and liqueur with the remaining ingredients. Mix well, and serve.
Patriotic Porch Sangria Recipe
As we head into the weekend before the 4th of July holiday, I’ve got my front porch decorated and my Patriotic Porch Sangria already on deck.
This Patriotic Porch Sangria recipe is featured in my Picnics, Potlucks & Porch Parties cookbook as Red, White & Blueberry Sangria so know that it’s the exact same recipe, just renamed because my porch is so darn festive this year that I call it Patriotic Porch Sangria. Whatever you want to call it is a-okay with me!
If you recall my recent porch decor, this year would appear a bit subdued, but I’m telling you, my porch makes me smile every time I round the corner. I think it quietly screams “Happy America!”.
We’ve swapped our bench for a pair of rockers and while the thought of eating outdoors in this heat is enough to send me over the edge, sipping a festive sangria watching the neighbors go by is right up my alley.
The Patriotic Porch Sangria couldn’t be easier either, it’s just mixing together wine, champagne, and grape juice, while letting the fruit do the decorating for you. Apple slices become stars and voila, you’ve got a 4th of July drink that will be the hit of the party. Whether it’s a block party, party of 10, or party of 2.
In a large pitcher, add the red wine, brandy, curaçao, simple syrup, and citrus juices. Stir well. For extra flavor, add a few slices of citrus fruit. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight, to let the flavors marry.
When ready to serve, pour the sangria into a chilled punch bowl with an ice block or ring.
Garnish the glasses with orange and lemon slices. Serve and enjoy.
- Orange curaçao is clear, and most other orange liqueurs will work as a substitute. The one exception is blue curaçao, which will turn the sangria into a really dark, rather unsightly color. make a better-tasting sangria over the bottled options. You'll want to stock up on fruit anyway because sangria is designed to be heavily garnished in both the pitcher and glass.
- If you prefer to serve this from a pitcher, combine two parts of the sangria base with one part soda, adding large ice balls or cubes. Keep the remainder well-chilled and mix the two again when it's time to refill the pitcher.
Sangria is one of those drinks that is only limited by your imagination. There are many sangria recipes for you to explore as well some use white, rosé, or sparkling wine, some prefer tropical fruits or add fresh herbs, and others switch from brandy to another spirit. Use this recipe as inspiration to create your own custom sangria using these suggestions:
- is a common substitute for brandy in sangria. Whiskey is an interesting choice as well choose bourbon or a smooth blended whiskey for best results. Tequila and vodka are often best reserved for white wine sangrias.
- Use 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and stir the sangria until it's completely dissolved. Agave nectar, honey syrup, and other liquid sweeteners are good simple syrup substitutes. Most require a little less start with 2 ounces and add more to taste.
- Switch to your favorite clear soda. Ginger ale is a favorite, lemon-lime soda adds a sweet brightness, and sparkling wine is always a fun option.
- Freeze fruits and herbs into an ice ring to dress up the punch bowl and keep the sangria cool.
What Is the Best Wine for Sangria?
Choose your favorite red wines for this sangria. You can even mix and match the two bottles. For instance, you might choose a jammy, full-bodied cabernet sauvignon and a dry, lighter-bodied pinot noir. You can also go the traditional route and choose Spanish wine Rioja wines are an excellent choice. There's no need to spend a lot of money, either. Less expensive wines work well because the punch is so flavorful that it will cover up any characteristics that you may not enjoy otherwise.
What Is the Best Brandy for Sangria?
To keep the sangria authentic, use a Spanish brandy, such as brandy de Jerez. However, at such a low volume, the brandy doesn't have a huge impact on sangria. Feel free to pour any brandy you have in the bar.
How Strong Is Sangria?
Even though there's a lot of wine in sangria, it's typically a relatively light punch. This particular recipe, for example, mixes up to an alcohol content of just 8 percent ABV (16 proof). That means you'll be serving a beverage that's stronger than beer, lighter than wine, but with a lot more flavor.
White Peach Sangria
After taking just one sip of the most perfect “tastes-like-you-stuck-a-straw-in-a-peach” Sangria at Hugo’s Mexican Restaurant in Houston, I knew I had to attempt a recreation of my own!
I found the perfect opportunity when I hosted a BBQ on Saturday. Nothing beats 101° temperatures better than a light, refreshing glass of White Peach Sangria!
Ingredients (makes 2 liters)
- 3 nectarines
- 5 peaches (divided)
- 1 lime (sliced thin)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 (750 ml) bottles chenin blanc (chilled)
- ½ cup apricot brandy
- ¼ cup triple sec
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the nectarines and 3 peaches. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until the skins begin to peel off easily.
Remove from the boiling water and place immediately in an ice bath.
Once cool enough to touch, remove from the ice bath and remove the skins of the nectarines and peaches. Slice each and remove the seeds. Place in a blender or food processor with 1 cup of cold water and puree.
Place the sliced lime and sugar in a large pitcher or punch bowl.
Muddle the sugar with the limes.
Add the chenin blanc, brandy, triple sec and peach/nectarine puree to the pitcher.
Dice the remaining 2 peaches and add to the pitcher.
Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.
I also chose to freeze watermelon balls to serve with the Sangria instead of using ice cubes.
This is a great trick for any drink in the summer and so easy to make!
Melon Ballers are sold on Amazon for about $9 or you can pick them up at Target, Walmart or a specialty store such as Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table.
Place the watermelon balls in the freezer and you’ve got a flavorful way to keep your drinks cold all summer long without watering them down!
I highly recommend serving frozen watermelon balls with this Sparkling Grapefruit Watermelon Sangria & this Watermelon Jalapeno Mojito!
Frozen Peach Sangria
The temperatures have been soaring lately and I’ve found myself reaching for frozen cocktails by the pool every chance I’ve had! So far this summer I’ve been blending up these Strawberry Watermelon White Wine Slushies, Frozen Mango Margaritas and Lemon Berry White Wine Slushies!
Last weekend, I decided that it was time to turn one of my most popular cocktail recipes for White Peach Sangria into a frozen cocktail and boy, am I glad I did!
This sangria tastes like you’re sipping on a fresh peach slushie, that also happens to have white wine it! It’s so refreshing and SO easy to blend up with just 4 ingredients in only 5 minutes!
White sangria vs red sangria
Sangría is a traditional wine punch that originates from Spain. A classic sangria is made with red wine and chopped fruit, and often orange juice or brandy. But there are lots of sangria variations as well: peach sangria, white sangria, rose sangria, apple cider sangria, and so forth. This peach sangria recipe is a white sangria recipe, meaning that it uses white wine instead of red wine. It’s a light and refreshing spin on the classic.
Why I Love Sangria
- Because it can be made in bulk.
- It has wine.. and I&rsquom a lover of wine!
- You can throw just about anything in and it&rsquos going to be good.
- Goes down like water. (that&rsquos up to you whether it&rsquos good or bad.. hehe)
Ya&rsquoll.. this cocktail is loaded with all kinds of citrus fun. Not only is it pretty to look at, but it is dreamy to drink.
It&rsquos super light and refreshing, which is perfect for the summer and can be made ahead of time.
So Happy Memorial Day to us!
I hope you have a great start to your week, make lots of memories for friends and family and prepare to enter the best season eva&hellip SUMMER!
Stay thirsty my friends! CHEERS!
Strain before moving to gallon container and (if you boiled the mixture) allow it to reach room temperature.
Open your brewsy bag and pour the contents in. Seal your juice again and shake well.
Apply the airlock, then leave your container somewhere dark and warm (75-80°F is best) for 3 days.
If Using Apricot Nectar
If you're not using the container your juice comes in, pour one gallon of Apricot Nectar into your gallon jug.
Pull up the sweetness calculator, and decide how sweet you'd like your juice.
Using the values from the sweetness calculator, pour out some juice (you can save it to backsweeten with later) and add your sugar. Then, shake it all up!
Open your brewsy bag and pour the contents in. Seal your juice again and shake well.
Apply the airlock , then leave your container somewhere dark and warm (75-80°F is best) for 3 days.
After 3 days, move it to the fridge for 48 hours. You can remove the airlock and set the original cap on top of your drink. Be sure not to tighten the cap!
After 48+ hours in the fridge, your yeast will have fallen to the bottom of your container.
Now, carefully "rack" your wine by pouring it off of the sediment into a different container. You can discard the sediment at the bottom — you won't want it in your final product. Then, pour a glass and give it a try!
Store the rest of your wine in the fridge, with the bottle cap still on loosely.
If you see sediment start to build up again after several days, you can rack it again. As it ages, the taste of your wine will keep on getting better. Cheers!
Can you keep leftovers of this sangria and drink it later?
Sort of. I think it’s best if you have let it “marinate” for several hours and then drink it all up after that. But putting it in the fridge again for another day of waiting might be a bit too much. It won’t be as fresh and tasty as if you’d made it the same day.
I’m a big lover of sangria, so I suggest you check out all of my sangria recipes! If you’re looking for more party punch type recipes, I can recommend my Vodka Party Punch or this Pomegranate Punch (with added vodka). This Amaretto Bourbon Punch looks good too!