“Adult Kool-Aid” (Summer Sangria)

Happy Fourth of July!! I’m sure many of you are doing fun things to celebrate Independence Day today. I am spending the day with my family outside grilling. This summer Sangria recipe would be a great addition to your outdoor celebration. It just looks and tastes like summer to me; I can’t wait to share this simple recipe with you!

The inspiration for this Sangria came from a date night out with my husband at a local restaurant. I have tried many different types of Sangria…but this was by far the best. What set this version apart was the fresh fruit (that you could actually see; not fruit flavored liquor) and wine that wasn’t cloyingly sweet.

I took the basics of the restaurant recipe and added my own twist. The name, on the other hand, came directly from my mom. During the pilot version of this Sangria I was asking for opinions from some family members and a couple friends. After trying a taste she said, “Pour some more of that Kool-Aid” and the name stuck. Sometimes she just cracks me up…

Typically, Sangria calls for 24 hours of refrigerator time so the fruit and wine can marinate together; however this does not have to be the case! The first version I made sat for approximately 3 minutes before we dove into it for a taste. And it was just as good! If you plan ahead and make it the night before it will have a stronger citrus flavor which is delightful!

Is it happy hour yet?


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1 orange
  • 2 bottles red wine (I used Zinfandel)
  • 1 large bottle Sparkling water (flavored would be fine)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Fresh berries of your choice (optional)
  • Ice for glasses

Note: This makes a party sized version of Sangria; perfect for sharing!


Cut off ends of lemon, lime, and orange. Cut into thin slices and place in large pitcher. (If you are making the quick version of this drink add the sugar at this time and use the handle of a spoon to muddle (smash) the fruit and sugar together to release the flavors.)

I apologize for the dark picture...24 hour marinating time and all...

I apologize for the dark picture…24 hour marinating time and all…

Next add the red wine, sparkling water, and sugar. Stir together to combine.


If you are using fresh berries, such as blueberries or blackberries, add these at the end so the stirring doesn’t break them down too much. Refrigerate for 24 hours; or less if you just can’t wait!


When ready to serve fill a wine glass 1/2 way up with ice cubes and pour the Sangria over the ice. The color will be gorgeous! Optional garnishes would be a slice of lemon or a couple fresh berries. Because the ice cubes can get in the way I like to cut a colorful straw in half and place it in the glass. Enjoy this 4th of July with loved ones and this perfect summer Sangria; cheers!


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