Summer weekends were made for gathering friends in a shady spot where the breeze is warm and the drinks are cold. To throw a spirited little party that won’t break the bank we’ll enlist the help of our frugal little friend – boxed wine.
I know some people recoil at the thought of serving wine that comes in a box. In defense of spigot wielding wine, it’s so much better than it was a few years ago. Many high end wine producers are thinking inside the box as an economical and eco-friendly way to get wine to consumers. So, if you’re entertaining a crowd or just imbibing on a budget, proudly opt for the box.
Boxed wine comes in many price points and levels of quality and value. For the purpose of making sangria I suggest skipping the high end quality and going for budget friendly quantity.
I’ve been asked where I got my non-diluting wine chiller. It was a wedding gift and it’s not being made anymore. However, Divo Bob has researched this one and it has an excellent customer rating! Zell Glass Carafe with easy pour cap, ice core tube for non-diluting cooling, 28 ounce capacity
Besides, it is sacrilege to mix good wine with fruit and soda.
Boxed wine sangria is the penny pinching party planner’s best and has been used for years by party professionals and caterers as a way to stretch the clients budget without sacrificing quality. That’s because when you mix boxed with fruit, juice and soda – it tastes the same as expensive wine. I’ve seen it served at some very, very exclusive parties and guests happily drink it by the gallon.
Here’s one of my recipes: Sizzle and Pop – Sparkling Lemon Sangria with Lemon Raspberry Popsicles
How to make boxed wine sangria
Here are the seven elements needed to make perfect sangria along with some examples.
- Wine – Red, White or Rosé
- Fruit – see below for pairing suggestions
- Sweetener – sugar, honey, agave, stevia
- Booze for a kick – brandy, cognac, triple sec, Grand Marnier, fruit liquor, vodka, light rum
- Juice – orange, lemon, apple, pomegranate, cherry, pear, apricot, mango
- Mixer – lemon lime soda, ginger ale, sparkling water, flavored sparkling water, green, black or herb tea
- Garnish – fruit slices, fresh herbs, ginger, cinnamon, jalapeño peppers
Red, rosé or white, any variety can make terrific sangria. It’s a matter of pairing the right additions with the wine. When you taste the fruity notes in the flavor profile the wine it will tell you what fruit it wants to be friends with.
Here’s a general key for sangria fruit and vino pairings. Of course, if you experiment you’ll come up with combinations uniquely your own.
- Light dry whites (Pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, Chablis, crisp white, refreshing white) play well with citrus, white grapes, apples and pears.
- Sweeter whites (chardonnay, Rhine, moscato,) enjoy the company of peaches, apricots, kiwi, honeydew melon, pineapple.
- Rose varieties (White zinfandel, White Merlot, White Grenache, sunset blush) hit it off with strawberries, raspberries, pineapple and cantaloupe.
- Light bodied reds (burgundy, merlot, chillable red) like raspberries, strawberries.
- Full bodied reds (cabernet sauvignon, chianti) like to mingle with cherries, plums, and red berries.
They all pair beautifully with porch swings, BBQs, belly laughs, plastic cups, lawn chairs, friends with guitars, star gazing and dancing barefoot in the grass.
I hope you’ll bust out the boxed wine for some no fuss sipping and let the secret of sangria to turn inexpensive box wine from swill to swell.