This lip-smacking Strawberry Sangria Recipe is a crowd-pleaser for sure. With fresh fruit, merlot and a few secret ingredients, this is the best sangria “brew” ever! Start mixing this the night before the party for best results.
This past week was a special one at our house for many reasons, but mostly because our friends from Birmingham made their annual pilgrimage to Manchester. When I say friends, I’m talking a group of nearly two dozen men, women and kids from our sister church in Alabama.
Each summer they willingly cross the Mason Dixon line, trekking north nearly 1200 miles to help us run an Explorer Camp for children in Manchester. Well they don’t exactly trek. Some fly. Some drive. And the ones that drive transport the red rat snake. Yep, no lie. They bring a three foot long red rat snake (and her healthy mouse appetite) along every year.
The snake is part of the nature exploration experience at camp. All year long the team fundraises to come and serve here — and the red rat snake, she fundraises too. Has a sign on her cage that reads: “Help send a snake to camp. Donate today.”
So I heard through the grapevine that two southern girlfriends on the team were having birthdays during the camp week, both on the same day mind you. And one was turning 40. Yep, she’s up here serving on a missions team in New Hampshire (with a reptile no less) on her 40th birthday.
Now this girl’s got rhythm, loves to dance, so that got me thinking birthday party music. And what could be more fantastic than salsa music with chips, salsa, sangria and friends?
So I made a big ‘ol pitcher of this Strawberry Sangria. (The recipe from my fun Cali cousin who always throws a terrific party.)
Invited all the women (minus the snake), lit the backyard torches, stoked the fire pit and cranked up the volume. We gathered on the patio at dusk for good times and ice cold glasses of this delicious, fruity sangria.
Not everyone had met yet, so we circled the table for brief introductions. Introductions and our most embarrassing moment. Yeah, so whose idea was that anyway?
Certainly not mine. But one of the birthday girls mentioned it, so thought we should oblige. And wow — what a dynamite mixer topic that turned out to be, complete with thick northern accents, southern drawl, and funny women spilling hilarious secrets around the circle.
One girl’s bathing suit clasp had “failed” at the beach. Oops. Then in high school, as a freshman, another girl had tripped head over heels down a brick staircase at school, flailed for a helping hand on the way down. It happened to be a senior guy she grabbed onto. The one she had a massive crush on. The one that was standing in a big group talking with all his friends. Down the stairs they went, and she landed square on top of him at the bottom. Yeah. Talk about embarrassing moment.
One tale started…”Ummm… my most embarrassing moment: discovering we accidentally neutered someone else’s dog…” Yeah? So that was quite a story. How exactly does one accidentally neuter someone else’s dog? And pray tell how does one unload that delicate information on the dog owner after the fact? Guess you had to be there.
So you can totally see where this is going. Oh. My. Word. Some capital C crazy stories around that fire, some of which I’d be unable to share here. (As in, what happens in Manchvegas, stays in Manchvegas.)
It was a night of birthday girl fun, laughs and hilarity by fire glow. And truth be told, the southern women beat us northern ones hands down in the story-telling department. Just sayin’.
So besides the stories, we thoroughly enjoyed this Strawberry Sangria. It’s the perfect drink for all the pool and patio parties this summer. Makes a generous two and a half gallons, so invite all your friends. (And their friends too.)
Here’s a few tips for making the perfect sangria:
- Freeze some ice cube trays of sangria ahead of time to keep the pitcher cold without dilution.
- This recipe makes 2 1/2 gallons for a big crowd, so you’ll need several large pitchers or a very large drink dispenser.
- This recipe halves easily if needed.
- Use fresh, ripe fruit for the sweetest sangria.
- Start the night before so the fruit has time to macerate.
Enjoy the sangria, and do tell if you’ve got a most embarrassing moment to share… (PG please! My nieces read this blog. 🙂 )
Strawberry Sangria Recipe
- 2 magnum bottles merlot
- a 1.5 magnum bottle is equal to 2 standard 750 ML bottles
- 1 - 375 ML bottle of Brandy
- 1- 750 ML bottle of Triple Sec
- 2 liter bottle of gingerale
- 1 can frozen lemonade or limeade
- 1 quart sliced fresh strawberries
- 2-3 sliced oranges
- 2-3 sliced lemons or limes
- Combine merlot, brandy and triple sec in very large container.
- Add cut up fruit to mixture.
- Let sit overnight.
- An hour before serving, add gingerale and frozen lemonade.
- Stir to combine.
Start the night before for best results.
This recipe easily halves.
You may also like: Fruity White Wine Peach Sangria