Greek Cherry Sangria with Fresh Mint

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Need a refreshing new sangria recipe for your summer parties and BBQ? Fresh summer cherries were my inspiration for this recipe. Sangria is a crowd pleasing drink that can be made ahead and refrigerated before your event. In fact, a tasty sangria needs time in the refrigerator so the fruit juices meld into the wine. I chose a red blend we had in our pantry, but if you prefer more information on how to choose the right wine, Food and Wine wrote a great article on selecting the best wine for your sangria.

Once you make your first pitcher of sangria, your imagination with your choices of wine and fruit are endless. Match up your wines with fresh fruits such as watermelon, strawberries, peaches, apples, and grapes.  Change up the liquor and syrups with vodka, brandy, triple sec, sparkling water or ginger ale.  Just have fun exploring the possibilites!

Here are a few tips from that article:

  • No need to use an expensive bottle of wine.
  • Use the freshest fruit possible, to enhance your sangria. Always, thoroughly wash the fruit especially the citrus before adding to your pitcher.
  • Choose the fruit and spices, and herbs according to the wine you will be using.
  • For reds: use a wine with low tanins, which Spanish wines have so try and use them.
  • For whites: Avoid wines with lots of oak. They have little tanins, so any will do.
  • For Rose:  Select fruit-inspired wines from California.

Greek Cherry Sangria with Fresh Mint

Fresh cherries are my  summer's choice of fruit to add to your favorite bottle of wine, in making a pitcher of fresh sangria. Make ahead and refrigerate any your guests will just love it's refreshing taste.

Course Drinks
Cuisine California Greek
Keyword sangria
Servings 8
Author Mary Papoulias-Platis

Ingredients

  • 1 750 ml red wine such as a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir
  • 1 -1/2 cups fresh cherry juice (recipe below)
  • 4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup orange liquor - I used Cointreau
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • ice

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or large pitcher, add the wine, cherry syrup, orange juice and liqueur.  This is a good time to refrigerate the wine overnight.

  2. Add the fresh cherries, oranges, lemon, limes and mint and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. If you are refrigerating overnight, add the above with the 2-4 hours before serving.

  3. Serve on ice, and garnish with fruit slices. 

I used fresh cherry juice for this sangria recipe. I added the cooled cooked cherries to the sangria along with the other fruit. Or skewer them for a garnish for each glass.

Fresh Cherry Juice for the Sangria

This simple recipe for the cherry juice makes all the difference in the world. Strain the juice and add it to the sangria, and take the cooled whole pitted cherries and use as a garnish or add to the pitcher.

Course Drinks
Cuisine California Greek
Keyword cherry
Author Mary Papoulias-Platis

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh pitted cherries (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 juice fresh lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan add the cherries, sugar, lemon juice and water. Bring to a boil, the simmer for about 10 minutes.

  2. Skim with a spoon any froth from the top of the cherries as they cook. Discard.

  3. With a slotted spoon, remove the cherries and set aside. Cool. Add to the sangria or use as a garnish for the glasses. 

  4. Continue cooking the syrup until slightly thickened. Cool and add to the sangria.

 

Wishing you a wonderful summer,

Mary

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