The BEST Sangria

May 28, 2013 by Ali

The BEST Sangria Recipe |

I know. Bold recipe title coming from a passionate (and opinionated!) sangria lover. But I’ll stand by it.

This really is the best sangria recipe I have ever tasted so far.

And it’s all thanks to one secret ingredient….

The BEST Sangria Recipe |

Can you spot it floating in there?

The BEST Sangria Recipe |

Yes, you do spy with your little eye something “green” — ARUGULA!

The BEST Sangria Recipe |

I have to admit that I did a double-take too when I saw my favorite green floating in a beautiful pitcher of red sangria on my recent trip to California with Dole. Other than herbs, I had never before even considered adding greens to my sangria.

But since I am slightly obsessed with arugula, and sangria is my drink of choice in the summer, I had to investigate.

Sure enough, it was brilliant.

So good, in fact, that I had to come home and make it for my friends. And then make it again the same week for another group of friends. And I may make it for some others next week. Everyone loves it!!!

The BEST Sangria Recipe |

For sure, the addition of fresh arugula was definitely a conversation topic. Everyone eyed it with curiosity, but once they tasted the sangria, they were sold. The number one question, though, was how exactly one goes about using arugula flavor the sangria. I imagine you could probably just stir it into the sangria and let it sit with the fruit for a few hours. But what Dole did, and I what I totally recommend, is to muddle it (I just did so with a spoon) along with the fruit to release extra flavor.

The result? A fruity sangria made all the more wonderful with a subtle peppery kick of arugula flavoring each sip. In my opinion, it was the perfect balance, and it also made for a beautiful colorful appearance!

I experimented with serving it three different ways — completely strained (sans fruit in the glasses), strained with a little fresh arugula in the bottom of glasses and a lime on top for decor, and then filled with lots of fruit and arugula. Different people have their preferences, but since sangria is so fun and colorful anyway, I like to show at least a little of the fruit when I’m serving it.

However you make it, I just highly recommend inviting a bunch of friends over and trying it soon. Without a doubt, this arugula sangria will be happening at my place often this summer. Enjoy!

The BEST Sangria Recipe |

Thanks to Dole for the great recipe inspiration, and all of the other great Spanish recipes they are sharing right now with their Taste of Spain campaign. To learn more, check out my post coming later today with a big photo roundup of my time with Dole.

The BEST Sangria Recipe |

The BEST Sangria

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: About 8-12 servings


  • 2 (750 mL) bottles dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 1 pound DOLE strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 3 oranges, thinly sliced
  • 3 limes, thinly sliced
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups DOLE fresh arugula
  • (optional) 1 can lemon-lime soda


Stir together wine, brandy, sugar and orange liqueur in large pitcher, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the arugula, and use a wooden spoon to mull (crush) the arugula so that the flavor is released. Add strawberries, lime, lemon and orange to the wine mixture, and lightly mull the fruit to release juices.

Cover and refrigerate for anywhere from 2-24 hours. Stir in soda if desired, then strain and serve over ice.

Recipe slightly adapted from Dole.

*If serving to a large group of people, I highly recommend making a double batch.

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

The BEST Sangria Recipe |

 Be sure to check out these other great sangria recipes too!

Easy Rainbow Sangria | #drinks #vegan #glutenfree

Rainbow Sangria

Strawberry Sangria -- easy to make, and naturally sweetened with honey! |

Strawberry Sangria

filed in Drinks/Cocktails

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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61 thoughts on “The BEST Sangria

  1. What is triple sec?

    - eara

  2. Very nice.. But please it’s called rocket !!!!!

    - Mike Norman

  3. I looked over a dozen recipes and when I read your blog I knew this one was for me! Making for a party, and am so looking forward to it. I will send my blog peeps to your site for sure! Your pictures are gorgeous!

    - susie sweetiepetitti

  4. I don’t think I’ll need many excuses for making this; arranging a few treats for a wedding in July, think I’ll be including this. :)

    - Kyle

  5. It looks like my comment was deleted but the general consensus at my memorial party was this tasted like a salad and was gross. I omitted the arugula the next time I made it and it was a hit.

    - Danielle coniglio

  6. I hate to say it but I made this Sangria for a Memorial Day party and the general consensus was how terrible it tasted. We all thought it tasted like salad. It was AWFUL!!! I remade I to omitting the arugula. 100x better!!!

    - Danielle

  7. Made this last week for my 1st book club, and again tonight for the neighborhood book club. It is as wonderful as described. Try it, and you’ll love it. Thanks for sharing, Ali.

    - Kate

  8. Just one question on the recipe. You said to strain it, therefore did u add fresh fruit and arugula after pouring over ice or did u just scoop some from the bowl that u mixed it from?

    - Bonnie

    • I added some of the original fruit back in plus some fresh arugula and extra fresh fruit for serving. Sorry for the confusion!

      - Ali

  9. I am such a sangria snob because I lived in Spain. I hate when Americans think they’re drinking Sangria when it’s just wine and fruit. Thank GAWD your recipe is authentic with brandy and liquore. I can’t wait to try it!!!!!

    - Laurielulu

  10. This WAS the best sangria ever!!!! What a wonderful recipe! The crushed arugula reminds me of the peppery taste in Sharaz red wine. So very good!!! I’m ever so thankful I stumbled upon this site. :).

    - Amber

  11. Ali, For TG I am making paella and patata bravas (courtesy my recent trip to Spain) and I was looking for the best sangria recipe which landed me here – I am excited to be trying this recipe and will surely let you know how it turned out. Thanks for sharing your secret ingredient :) As a food blogger, I take pride in doing that too :)


    - Priya

  12. I made this last night for a mexican dinner party and it was a hit! Everyone loved it! I’ll definitely make it again.

    - Bec

  13. Hi Ali

    The recipe looks nice.
    I’m worried about one detail. How does arugula looks after being mushed and stayed in the fridge for 24 hours?
    does it really look as pretty as on the picture?

    - Marju

  14. I served this sangria recipe at a girls night out party last night and it was a HUGE hit! I made the night before and refrigerated and it was perfection in a glass. It is definitely in my “keep” pile and the recipe is now being shared with all my friends! Thanks so much for posting!

    - Lindsey J

  15. Tried it and it is excellent! I fact, 3 people who said, no – I don’t like sangria ended up asking for the recipe.

    - Tara

  16. Great idea! My pitcher of your recipe is in the refrigerator now. It will be served to a fine hostess celebrating her 75th birthday in 18 hours. I’m calling it a wine salad. Tastes great right now but will let you know what our ladies lunch club thinks.

    - Ditsyquoin

  17. Oh – fun to add a little arugula to sangria! Can’t wait to try it (will be a few more months for me ;) )
    I am a lover of sangria, never enough recipes for them to try. This looks fantastic.

    - Aggie

  18. Love the idea of adding in greens to sangria! Definitely will be trying this by the pool sometime this summer.

    - Karen - Cinnamon Freud

  19. Oooooo…so happy you did the legwork on this recipe already, can’t wait to make it this summer, it was so good! (Now if we could just work in that lovely CA backdrop again…)

    - Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblese

  20. Oh wow, I am all over this :) I love sangria!

    - Nutmeg Nanny

  21. I am a sangria freak too and I am SO intrigued by the idea of adding arugula because it is one of my favorite greens. This is just stunning!

    - Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

  22. I’ve been thnking about this sangria ever since I saw it posted on your instagram last night Ali. I love Sangria so much and your photography is amazing. I could get lost in that pitcher of fruity amazingness!!

    - sally @ sallys baking addiction

  23. All. Over. It.

    - Bev @ Bev Cooks

  24. Funny… Sangria is MY choice of summer cocktail too! Love the idea of peppery arugula in sangria. Great recipe Ali!

    - Laurie {SimplyScratch}

  25. Whoa whoa and WOW! These are stunner, lady!!! And I love that you added arugula! So creative.

    - ashley - baker by nature

  26. This may just be the most gorgeous sangria I have ever seen!

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

  27. Whoa. I’d totally try that. I believe you, Ali!!!

    - Rebecca {foodie with family}

  28. Ok…truth time..I’ve never had sangria. Ever. I hear everyone raving about it all the time but I’ve never once tried it. I after seeing you add arugula to the mix though, I just might have to give it a try. :)

    - Des @ Life's Ambrosia

  29. I can imagine what a nice kick the arugula gives…such a great idea. I love your sangria so if you like this one, I know I will too!

    - cassie

  30. I so have to try this! I love both sangria and arugula and can’t wait to see how they taste together. Thanks for sharing Ali!

    - Nancy/SpicieFoodie

  31. So pretty, I’m ready for a glass! :)

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

  32. Bold statement calling it the best! ;) But dude, arugula. Love that.

    - claire @ the realistic nutritionist

  33. I love the arugula addition – that extra spice would be so much fun!! It’s gorgeous Ali!

    - Megan {Country Cleaver}

  34. The color of this sangria is definitely the loveliest thing I’ve seen today. It’s making me thirsty just looking at it!

    - Courtney @ Neighborfood

  35. I’m very intrigued with this arugula thing! I love sangria, and have never made it before. Arugula is one of my favorite ingredients, so if you say it makes this sangria, I’m going to have to try it!

    - marcie@flavorthemoments

  36. GENIUS. You teased me with “secret ingredient” and I totally took the bait. I can imagine the pepper factor would be bananas amazing against the sweet fruit. Nice Ali!

    - Erin | The Law Students Wife

  37. Arugula – I would have never thought. I will keep in mind when I make sangria next time.

    - Dixya

  38. Ooo, I am a Sangria junkie! I love the stuff! It never dawned on me to use herbs or anything like arugula. I happen to have arugula in my fridge. It’s a sign to make this I think! :)

    - Leah | So, How's It Taste?

  39. Sangria is, hands down, my favorite summertime drink. I am intrigued by the arugula and will definitely be trying this!

    - Cookin Canuck

  40. Wow! This sounds fantastic! I can imagine the peppery arugula is delicious in this. Thanks for sharing. This will be made many times this summer, I’m sure! :)

    - DessertForTwo

  41. Wow, so pretty!

    - Tieghan

  42. This looks super! I loooove sangria, so I know I’ll like this!

    - Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

  43. There was arugula in that sangria??? Oh now I’m even more sad I missed it!!! I love arugula – what an awesome idea!!!

    - Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

  44. I think I need two straws!

    - steph@stephsbitebybite