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
Sounds like a fun evening! And how does someone accidentally neuter someone else’s dog?
Well Sylvie, it’s a long story, but the short of it is they lost their dog, couldn’t find him for over a year. It was a beautiful black lab. A friend called in the part of town they lost him, said I think I have your dog. They went over to get him, he seemed the same age, they compared pics., etc. Took him to the vet. The vet agreed he thought it was the right dog. Catch was they were going on vacation the next day. Decided to leave him at the vet, get him micro-chipped and neutered while they were gone. During vacation they get a phone call from the friend that found the dog. He is suddenly seeing lost dog flyers in the neighborhood.The dog is not theirs after all… They had to call the dog owner and say they had the dog, but he was unfortunately missing a few body parts… they found out later the dogs looked so similar because they were actually from the same breeder….Crazy, huh?
Saving this recipe! Yum.
Oh good – hope you like it Ann!
Pam Greer says
I love the ice cube tip!! I would love it if you would link this up to Tipsy Tuesday at Grey is the New Black!
Thanks Pam, I linked it!
Kristen Chidsey says
Allie–what a special week indeed. Although, I am not sure how excited I would be for the snake–ha!ha! These sangria’s are a perfect way to celebrate bithdays and laugh over stories from our past!! Cheers!!
Yes, the snake and I are definitely not friendly.
nancy mcmahan says
Ladies time is always special. Good silliness prevails. But no snakes invited.
Yep, no snakes at ladies night out!
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
Yes to friends! No to a snake…I just don’t like snakes! And a huge YES to this Sangria! I love all that strawberry goodness with a little wine!
Christy Smith says
Stories, snakes and sangria sound like the perfect recipe for a memorable time! I learned a new tip (freezing sangria in ice cube trays ~ brilliant!), a new word (macerate – love reading new words I probably should have learned ages ago) and sure wish I could have been a quiet cricket in that backyard with such fun stories being shared not to mention dancing at dusk! ❤️
Thanks my friend, so thankful you shared this recipe – it’s been a huge hit around here. Shared some with Aunt J and Uncle F here at the Cape this week and they loved it too!
That sounds like a fun night for sure! I’m sure your sangria was the hit of the party! Embarrassing moment stories does sound like a fun way to get to know each other!? I’ll have to remember both next time I have a gathering. Beautiful pics too!
Thank you so much Tracy – we are def. gonna share a glass of this together one day!
Love this post! Beautiful pictures! This recipe is a keeper for sure! I’ll have to remember your tip
on how to get to know each other. ?
Aunt Pinkie says
Looks marvelous and so refreshing!
Heather McCurdy says
The sangria sounds perfect and what a great visit and party you had! Friends visiting from “once upon a time home” are always such a blessing.
Dear Heather – thanks so much! It was a fun party for sure. While I’ve never lived in Birmingham, my son is headed to college at Samford University in Bham next week. Exciting days and sad too. We’ll miss him around here. A little birdie told me you have moved to Manchester! Woo hoo and welcome to the Queen City!!!!
Heather McCurdy says
My oldest is 13 now and heading into 8th grade. The thought of college is looming closer and is a bit scary! To be there already…ack! We have and we close on our house next Tuesday. Finally going to be settling in and it’s just around the corner from the church. 😉 I have “contact Allie to get together for coffee and officially meet” on my long list.
Dear Allie, I love the tips especially the ice cube one! That is a fantastic idea. Your sangria is beautiful and sounds so refreshing. Perfect summer drink dear. xoxo, Catherine
That sounds like such a fun night! I had to laugh as I read this, Allie, because years ago, when I was on holidays, my bathing suit clasp failed! Fortunately, I have fast reflexes and I had my towel near-by. It’s good to know I am not totally alone in that experience, which (amazingly) I’d almost forgotten about (or maybe blocked out the memory? Haha). Btw, I also tried the peach sangria with white wine recipe, and it was delish! Xo
Oh that’s funny Carina. Sort of. Sounds like repression.(!) And yay for fast reflexes. Thank you – it was a fun night here, and glad to hear you tried the peach sangria and liked it. I’m not sure which I like better, this one or the peach. They’re very different with the white wine and merlot — but both so good! xo
Susie Mandel says
LOVED this post…hilarious, great recipe and stories, and beautiful pictures. You’re not only showing your writing and cooking/baking talents, but you are quite the photographer, too. I think I can share this story here–I was on one of my first dates with my future husband, along with another couple, at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. We were having lots of fun roaming the ship and jumped over something when I felt one of my bra straps go…snap! If anyone knows me and what I look like, that is NOT a good thing. Thank goodness I happened to carry everything but the kitchen sink in my purse and had a safety pin. Until I got to it, though, I was hanging on for dear life!
You are easily amused Susie-Q – and I’m so GLAD!!!! You know I had fun writing this one. And that is a funny first date story for sure. Thank God you’re an organized woman with a well stocked purse. Too funny!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Sounds like you had a great party, Allie!! I’m so glad the snake didn’t attend. I’m not a fan of those. At.all! And sharing your most embarrassing moment? Gawsh, I don’t even know what mine would be.. can my whole life just be a chain of embarrassing moments? Hahahaha. Anyways, looove sangria and this sassy strawberry sangria looks amazing! A perfect way to get a party started! Or just great to sit and relax with a pitcher of this beauty! Cheers, dear friend- to a beautiful weekend! Xoxo
This sounds like the PERFECT summer party beverage! I think it needs to go on the bar menu here soon!
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kithcen says
Sounds like had an amazing party, Allie. And that ice cube tip is fabulous, Alle. Strawberry sangria is the prettiest thing ever. Looks like the perfect party drink. Although I know that I don’t have to wait for a party to enjoy this drink! 😉
Ta sangria aux fraises est très originale! Je suis sûre que ta copine a passé un excellent anniversaire avec cette délicieuse sangria et en bonne compagnie. x
Hi there. Do you add the 1 can of water to the frozen lemonade concentrate??
Hi Jen – No, don’t add a can of water to the frozen lemonade! Hope you love this, it always goes fast at my parties!