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Officially, sangria is a common beverage from Spain and Portugal. The standard recipe consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and brandy. The sweetener is most often a shot of sugar, although honey and orange juice can be employed. The brandy is traditional but in this new of age of extravagant liqueurs, just about anything goes. St-Germain elderflower liqueur is, for example, an interesting brandy substitute.

Thanks to the European Union, the term “sangria” can now appear on labels only for products made in either Spain or Portugal.

I do not intend to mass produce and label my Strawberry and Plum Sangria, so I think I am free from potential prosecution. And I’m assuming those little black things floating near the kitchen ceiling are just early mosquitos and not mini-drones sent in by the EU to check me out.

I remember seeing the movie 1984 and being scared out of my mind about the world to come. In retrospect, 1984 was a cakewalk. I think I can use that word. I don’t think the EU has restricted its use yet but I probably should check. Check on everything.

This sangria is made with white wine, not red. Sangria fruits tend to be either citrus or berry or apple/melon/pear. I think that berries, particularly, strawberries are the easiest and fastest way to infuse flavor into sangria. Apple can take an eternity. Strawberries do have a strong single note of flavor. That is why I have added plums here. Plums have a more subtle flavor, almost an undertone that just mellows the high peaks of strawberry sensation.


Brian’s Strawberry and Plum Sangria

Yield: serves 4


  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries
  • 6 very ripe plums
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 1 750ml bottle of dry white wine [Spanish Rioja]


Wash and dry the fruit. Cut the tops off the strawberries, then slice them into three or four separate pieces. You want to get surface area here to provide the most contact between the berries and the wine.

Slice the plums making sure the pit is discarded.

Add the fruit to a large glass pitcher. Add the sugar and brandy, stir to mix. Slowly pour in the wine. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Source: Brian O’Rourke

Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/50th second at ISO‑2500