Stay cool in the sweltering summer sun with a pitcher of this fresh and flavorful White Wine Sangria. It's fruity and tropical without being overly boozy, can be made ahead of time and is great for groups!
Summer is peak sangria season, and this Tropical White Wine Sangria, made with rum, bubbly white wine, sweet pineapple, tangy lime slices and aromatic basil, is bright, fruity and made for sharing. Grab your friends and family and toast the slower pace of summer with a glass of this easy, crowd-pleasing batch cocktail.
Why you'll love this sangria recipe
➤ Make ahead - with a twist: An infused rum ensures you can prep this sangria days ahead of time without worrying that the wine will go bad. When you're ready to serve, simply combine the fruit-soaked rum with the effervescent wine and club soda for the freshest flavor.
➤ Light, refreshing and easy to drink: Using a wine with a lower alcohol content (like Vinho Verde) keeps this drink from venturing into super boozy territory - perfect for hot weather sipping.
➤ Serves a crowd: No need to invest in beer, wine, spirits AND seltzers to ensure something for everyone; this drink will please them all! Plus the recipe is easily doubled in a few pitchers for more than one round of drinks.
You only need 7 ingredients for this easy pitcher drink.
A few ingredient notes:
• White wine: I love to use Vinho Verde for this sangria. This young Portuguese wine is crisp and fragrant, slightly effervescent and inexpensive. If you can't find Vinho Verde, you can also substitute another white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
• Rum: Pineapple rum is my go-to for this recipe because it's an easy way to double down on the tropical flavor. Regular white rum can be used but the pineapple flavor will not be as strong.
• Pineapple: I used fresh pineapple, but defrosted frozen fruit can also be used.
• Basil simple syrup: Admittedly, this is a bit extra, but taking a few minutes to infuse your simple syrup with basil adds the perfect amount of savoriness to this sangria to keep it from being overly sweet. Did you know you can make your own simple syrup at home for a fraction of the cost of store-bought bottles? Check out our post with detailed instructions to make simple syrup at home (including infused simple syrups) for a fraction of the store-bought brands. Regular simple syrup can also be used here but you will lose a bit of flavor.
• Sparkling water: I like plain sparkling water or club soda for this drink but feel free to add a flavored bubbly water, a lemon lime soda or even ginger ale, if you prefer.
Sangria is one of the easiest cocktails to make!
Add pineapple, lime slices, basil leaves to a large pitcher.
Add basil simple syrup and rum to pitcher and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.
When ready to serve, pour wine into pitcher and stir thoroughly. Divide sangria among ice-filled glasses and top with sparkling water or club soda. Garnish with additional pineapple cubes and lime slices.
Sangria as it's known today is often associated with Spain and Portugal but it actually dates back to Roman times when people weren't sure their drinking water was safe so they added fruits, herbs and wine to it. Iterations of the drink have evolved over the years but they all loosely follow a similar recipe: fruits and/or fruit juice, sweetener, sparkling water, liqueur/spirit and wine. The color of sangria depends on the wine used. Red sangria is made with red wine and white sangria is made with white wine.
Fresh, dry white wines like a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc are the best choices for white sangria as they combine well with fruits and herbs. Skip anything that has been aged in oak. I love to use Vinho Verde in this sangria with pineapple. This young, relatively low alcohol wine comes from Portugal. It often has a crisp, green flavor with some minerality and a hint of bubbles. Most Vinho Verde wines are $10 or less and pair well with food, making them excellent summer sippers both on their own and when used for sangria.
The beauty of sangria is it's a make-ahead recipe. Each recipe is different, but you can combine the fruit and rum in this sangria anywhere from four hours to one day ahead of time. If you're planning to make this the day before, wait to add the basil until about four hours before serving to be sure it stays vibrantly green. The longer the basil sits in the sangria, the less fresh it looks. Wait to add the wine and club soda until you're ready to serve the drinks.
Expert tips for making the best white wine sangria
✔︎ Don't break the bank on a bottle of wine but do choose a wine that you would drink by the glass. I used Vinho Verde wine because it's light, crisp and very affordable.
✔︎ Most white wine sangrias last well for a few days after making them. This pineapple version gets tangier but loses some of the wine's effervescence as it ages.
✔︎ You don't see a lot of glass pitchers with lids. We love this lidded pitcher as it's the ideal size for marinating the fruit and then serving this pineapple sangria.
✔︎ Chill the wine and club soda well before combining with the fruit and rum mixture.
✔︎ Serve the sangria in ice-filled glasses to ensure the drink stays well-chilled. Leave ample room at the top of each glass for club soda.
✔︎ Always stir each glass of sangria before drinking so the club soda is dispersed throughout the drink.
✔︎ Feel free to eat the fruit from the sangria. It's very yummy to eat but will probably taste a little bit boozy.
✔︎ Want a sweeter drink? Add more plain simple syrup or stir in some sugar to taste.
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Tropical White Wine Sangria
- ¼ whole pineapple , peeled, cored & cubed
- 1 lime , sliced
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- ⅓ cup basil infused simple syrup (recipe in notes)
- ¾ cup pineapple rum
- 1 (750) ml bottle Vinho Verde wine , chilled
- 6 ounces sparkling water or club soda , chilled
- Add pineapple, lime slices, basil leaves, basil simple syrup and rum to a large pitcher and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.¼ whole pineapple, 1 lime, ½ cup fresh basil leaves, ⅓ cup basil infused simple syrup, ¾ cup pineapple rum
- When ready to serve, pour wine into pitcher and stir thoroughly. Divide sangria among ice-filled glasses and top with 1 ounce of club soda. Garnish with additional pineapple cubes and lime slices.1 (750) ml bottle Vinho Verde wine, 6 ounces sparkling water or club soda
- Soak the rum and fruit together for at least 4 hours before adding the wine.
- Don't break the bank on the wine used in this sangria but definitely choose one you'd drink on its own. I love using a Portuguese wine called Vinho Verde in this recipe. This lower alcohol wine has a crisp, green flavor with some minerality and a hint of bubbles. Most Vinho Verde bottles are $10 or less.
- Plain rum and plain simple syrup can be used in place of the pineapple rum and basil simple syrup but the sangria's flavor will not be as strong.
- Make sure your wine and club soda are well-chilled before adding to the fruit and rum mixture.
- Stir each glass of sangria before drinking to ensure the club soda is dispersed throughout the drink.
- This drink is just sweet enough as written. Feel free to adjust the amount of simple syrup as desired.
- This sangria is best served the day it is made as the wine is fresh and bubbly, but it will last in the fridge for another day.
- Recipe inspired by Hola Arepa restaurant in Minneapolis.
To make the basil-infused simple syrup:
Place ¼ cup sugar and ¼ water in a small saucepan. Heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
Remove pan from heat and stir in ½ cup of fresh basil leaves, lightly muddling them in the warm syrup. Allow basil to steep in syrup for at least 20 minutes.
Pour syrup through fine mesh strainer and cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about ⅓ cup of basil simple syrup.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.