The Recipe Book: A Sangria that Takes a Walk on the Dry Side


When making a sangria, it is so easy to totally go overboard on the sugar. Between the wine of your choice, additional liqueurs, fruit juices, and sometimes even more sugar itself, we sometimes forget that good sangria and wine cocktails don’t have to put you to the edge of a diabetic coma. So let’s try a dryer, gin-citrus sangria, a concoction I experimented with this past weekend. Usually, I use white rum but this time I wanted to see what I could pull off with gin, my favorite non-whiskey spirit. The result was mildly sweet, and after the first couple of sips, surprisingly easy on the palate.

Ingredients for this Gin Citrus Sangria:

1 bottle of Crane Lake Riesling

1 Cup of Gin

1/2 Cup of Triple Sec

1/2 Cup of Elderflower Liqueur

1 Lemon, sliced

1 Lime, sliced

For the eldeflower, I decided to go with my new find, St. Elder, which is decidedly cheaper than St. Germain but has an identical taste. I was all out of Limoncello, so I used triple sec instead for a hint of orange. Many wine cocktails I have made combine white wine with gin and elderflower, so this was basically a larger batch version of that. Whatever you do, make sure you do not go overboard on the elderflower because it is highly potent and will takeover the taste of the entire pitcher. Chardonnay or sparkling wine could also be substituted for the Riesling, but I find this German wine worked well when being mixed. This  can be enjoyed anytime, but with Thanksgiving coming up, it’s the perfect drink to sip with pre-feast appetizers or salty snacks. This is the only sangria I would ever consider to be classified as an Aperitif. The dryness will help your appetite.



    • The first sangria I ever had was made with brandy. I liked it, but as soon as I started using white rum, I was hooked. Have never used brandy again. It needs a certain wine to compliment well with, whereas white rum seems to blend with anything, white or red. Gin, I imagine, would only go good with white/sparkling. This gin sangria was an experiment. It is potent, and admittedly, not for everyone. If you make it, I hope you enjoy it.


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