The BEST Sangria

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

Arugula is the star ingredient in this delicious red sangria!


  • 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.

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

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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

Leave a Comment:


  1. steph@stephsbitebybite — May 28, 2013 @ 6:47 am (#)

    I think I need two straws!

  2. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — May 28, 2013 @ 7:03 am (#)

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

  3. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 28, 2013 @ 7:08 am (#)

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

  4. Tieghan — May 28, 2013 @ 7:08 am (#)

    Wow, so pretty!

  5. DessertForTwo — May 28, 2013 @ 7:13 am (#)

    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! :)

  6. Cookin Canuck — May 28, 2013 @ 7:32 am (#)

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

  7. Leah | So, How's It Taste? — May 28, 2013 @ 7:52 am (#)

    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! :)

  8. Dixya — May 28, 2013 @ 7:57 am (#)

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

  9. Erin | The Law Students Wife — May 28, 2013 @ 8:19 am (#)

    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!

  10. marcie@flavorthemoments — May 28, 2013 @ 9:23 am (#)

    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!

  11. Courtney @ Neighborfood — May 28, 2013 @ 9:30 am (#)

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

  12. Megan {Country Cleaver} — May 28, 2013 @ 12:07 pm (#)

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

  13. claire @ the realistic nutritionist — May 28, 2013 @ 1:06 pm (#)

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

  14. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 28, 2013 @ 2:00 pm (#)

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

  15. Nancy/SpicieFoodie — May 28, 2013 @ 2:53 pm (#)

    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!

  16. cassie — May 28, 2013 @ 3:35 pm (#)

    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!

  17. Des @ Life's Ambrosia — May 28, 2013 @ 3:57 pm (#)

    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. :)

  18. Rebecca {foodie with family} — May 28, 2013 @ 5:33 pm (#)

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

  19. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 28, 2013 @ 6:12 pm (#)

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

  20. ashley - baker by nature — May 28, 2013 @ 6:34 pm (#)

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

  21. Laurie {SimplyScratch} — May 29, 2013 @ 8:26 am (#)

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

  22. Bev @ Bev Cooks — May 29, 2013 @ 9:03 am (#)

    All. Over. It.

  23. sally @ sallys baking addiction — May 29, 2013 @ 1:30 pm (#)

    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!!

  24. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — May 29, 2013 @ 11:22 pm (#)

    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!

  25. Nutmeg Nanny — May 31, 2013 @ 9:38 am (#)

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

  26. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblese — June 2, 2013 @ 9:10 pm (#)

    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…)

  27. Karen - Cinnamon Freud — June 9, 2013 @ 12:13 am (#)

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

  28. Aggie — June 11, 2013 @ 6:43 am (#)

    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.

  29. Ditsyquoin — June 17, 2013 @ 7:43 pm (#)

    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.

  30. Tara — June 20, 2013 @ 5:30 pm (#)

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

  31. Lindsey J — June 21, 2013 @ 7:25 am (#)

    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!

  32. Marju — October 1, 2013 @ 1:46 pm (#)

    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?

  33. Bec — October 27, 2013 @ 2:16 am (#)

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

  34. Priya — November 24, 2013 @ 5:31 pm (#)

    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 :)


  35. Amber — January 26, 2014 @ 5:32 pm (#)

    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. :).

  36. Laurielulu — May 24, 2014 @ 9:56 pm (#)

    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!!!!!

  37. Bonnie — May 26, 2014 @ 8:54 pm (#)

    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?

    • Ali — July 18, 2014 @ 4:33 pm (#)

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

  38. Kate — May 27, 2014 @ 1:31 pm (#)

    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.

  39. Danielle — May 29, 2014 @ 12:09 am (#)

    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!!!

  40. Danielle coniglio — May 30, 2014 @ 5:57 pm (#)

    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.

  41. Kyle — June 3, 2014 @ 5:37 am (#)

    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. :)

  42. susie sweetiepetitti — June 20, 2014 @ 10:41 am (#)

    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!

  43. Mike Norman — June 23, 2014 @ 3:30 pm (#)

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

  44. eara — September 12, 2014 @ 2:32 pm (#)

    What is triple sec?

    • Ali — October 18, 2014 @ 6:05 pm (#)

      An orange liqueur. You can substitute in any other orange liqueurs that you like.

  45. TOP | 99999 Wonderful Quotes — October 14, 2014 @ 5:43 pm (#)

    Yesterday was my first day visiting this website, and was amazed with all the recipes available!I made this today for the football games!! This was so YUMMY, will be making this for many more occasions!

  46. Kristi — March 29, 2015 @ 7:29 pm (#)

    Could you use dark rum? Looks really good

  47. Francine — May 22, 2015 @ 10:57 pm (#)

    Hi. I need to make about three gallons of this for a picnic. There seems to already be a lot of fruit. Do I need to triple the fruit and arugula? Or just let the same amount of fruit infuse for the full 24-hour time?

    • Ali — May 25, 2015 @ 8:37 am (#)

      Hi Francine! I would still triple the fruit and arugula, or at least double it. Hope you enjoy!

  48. Holly C. — June 12, 2015 @ 1:03 pm (#)

    Love the colors ! The drink looks so refreshing too…yum..where’s mine ?

    • Hayley — June 12, 2015 @ 5:11 pm (#)

      Thanks, Holly! We hope you enjoy!

  49. Marisol — September 18, 2015 @ 4:11 pm (#)

    Excelente me encanta

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 19, 2015 @ 7:48 am (#)

      Thank you Marisol, we’re happy you love it! :)


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