End of Summer Sangria

Making Sangria is a lot like making soup. You can use odds and ends and pretty much never make it the same way you did the last time and it is still good! This time I decided to make white sangria. I had some peaches that needed to be used and one orange and pear left.

So into the pot pitcher they went.

It’s really important to let it set for while, so it is best if you can make it either the night before or early morning the day you serve it. I like to let it set at least 8 hours.

You can skip the sugar if you want to, but I really like it better with about 1/4 cup of sugar added. Seems to cut the bite of the booze if you know what I mean.

So find the biggest, ugliest (preferably blue) pitcher you can and start mixing it up in no particular order.

The cheaper the wine, the better the sangria.

Add a cup of booze. This is brandy, but you could use flavored liquer or schnapps.

Then add another splash for good measure.

If you are using plain brandy, make sure to take a big deep sniff.

Now you know exactly what my Grandpa Hoffman smelled like.

No joke.

He drank a lot of brandy.

He lived in Green Bay with my Grandma Bea. He was her third (and final) husband.  Once we were apple picking with him & Grandma Bea. We were at some orchard near Green Bay. It was just me and my mom & dad and them. Grandpa was drinking and picking apples and all of a sudden he sat down on an apple crate and started calling me by the dogs name.

‘Doxie, get the hell out of the apples’

Then he fell over backwards off the apple crate.

Big production. An ambulance had to come to the orchard and take him to the hospital and Grandma Bea was P.O’d.

Big time.


Him and my dad had tickets for the Packer game that night, but of course Grandpa had to stay in the hospital and my mom and Grandma (I think) secretly blamed my dad for Grandpa getting so drunk, although they told me he had sun poisoning, (which HELLO, big fat lie) and so neither one of them would go to the Packer game with my dad.

And I mean it was a PACKER game. Like my dad was really going to miss going, even though this was the late 1970’s and they were pretty crappy then. So guess who got to go?

9 years old and I had to take the ‘Fan’ bus from Harry’s bar with my dad and Grandpa’s old bar cronies.

They played the New England Patriots and it was one of the few games they won that year. Mostly what I remember is Grandma sent chicken sandwiches and a big thermos of hot chocolate.


And there was also a very very very drunk lady who was cheering for the Patriots sitting behind us.

‘Memories,  pressed between the pages of my mind.”

Goooooooooooooo Patriots.  She loudly slurred that through most of the 3rd and 4th quarter.

Ok. I just checked it on Google. It was October 1st 1979. Pack was 5-11 that year.


You could add any kind of sparkling juice or even diet ginger ale. I happened to have some sparkling apple juice on hand, so that is what I used.

Chop up all your fruit and dump it in.

You can pretty much use any fruit you have. Peaches and oranges look especially pretty floating in the sangria, but I have used grapes, cherries, berries, lemons, and apples (just like the ones we picked with Grandpa Hoffman) with great results.

Steer clear of bananas.

Super sorry, but I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product. I transferred it from the big ugly blue pitcher to a pretty glass pitcher and we drank every bit of it at Sassy’s birthday party. It was a delight.

So the moral of the story is that you can use any kind of wine/booze/fruit combo and get good sangria results.

And don’t go apple picking with a brandy drinker.

End of Summer Sangria

2 bottles of cheap white wine (I usually use a chardonnay or a pinot grigio)

1 cup brandy (flavored or plain)

1/4 cup sugar

1 bottle sparkling apple cider

peaches, pears, oranges (diced/sliced)

Mix everything together in a big ugly pitcher and refrigerate overnite.



About Janice

I am 40 years old. Loving life and (finally) being a grown up. I have 3 great kids that sometimes make me want to drink copious amounts of wine. I have been married to my amazing husband since 2001. I have more great girlfriends than you can shake the proverbial stick at. Join me in this adventure that is my life.
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10 Responses to End of Summer Sangria

  1. Kristin says:

    What a great story and the sangria sounds yummy.

  2. sue says:

    You never disappoint! Take a big sniff…and now you know what my grandpa smelled like.

    I haven’t ever been really enamored with sangria but your story made me want to try making my own. I do have some questions. Is it really true about the cheaper the wine? Also, how long does the sangria “keep”? Is it really better to drink it all once it is ready (sharing with friends, of course) or can it sit? If it sits, is there a time when you really should remove the fruit? Do you eat the fruit or just toss or do I call Homer’s friend, Barney to eat the fruit?
    Thanks for any advice you can share and I will mix some up for the next gathering I am invited to. But, I only have a homely brown pitcher, which I hope will work. It is a Tupperware which I use all the time.

    • Janice says:

      Yes, the cheaper works better–I always use 2 buck chuck from Trader Joes (Which is really 3 bucks now…) or else one of those cheapo boxes of franzia. It never lasts very long around here. You could always halve the recipe and just use 1 bottle of wine. I have kept it as long as 4-5 days afterwards. I also froze some that was left over from a party and thawed it out a month later, added fresh fruit and it was fine.

      EAT THE FRUIT! It is the best part!

  3. Shara says:

    I’ve never had Sangria–I’m going to give your recipe a try. Fun post–loved reading it, thanks!

  4. Jennifer says:

    JANICE! “‘Doxie, get the hell out of the apples’” HAHAHAHAHA! I love your stories! 🙂

  5. julie says:

    um, yummy, hope there is some around next week.

  6. snath says:

    I gotta tell you, It freaks me out to see another sue on here, so maybe I’ll change my name….see if you like it! Love you!

  7. Eleanor says:

    Hi! This looks yummy! I’m going to Tweet it to my followers at reformedcynic. I love collecting good Sangria recipes..

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