Sometimes we could all use a drink. I’m not talking about a water because we’re thirsty kind of drink, either. No, I’m talking about alcohol, people. Booze. The hard stuff. Liquor. Yea, we could all really use a drink every now and then. Especially after a long day of work, but not necessarily only on those days. Sometimes we’re not all that tired or stressed out, but we still want a drink anyhow. That’s okay. I’m here to tell you that’s okay. As a matter of fact, grab yourself a drink right now. And even if you don’t drink, well then pour yourself some juice and pretend it’s a stiff drink, because you’re tired and because you need it and because you deserve it. There are some days where I’m just staring at my watch, counting down the minutes to five o’clock—because I don’t know about you but I feel much better drinking once it’s officially the evening. I’ll be honest with you, though, many times, I don’t even make it to five. I can’t bear all the waiting so I just start drinking early on. Don’t worry, I’m not an alcoholic. I just go through these phases where I need a drink, and if I don’t get one, I fly off the rails and go crazy. I have it under control though. I don’t have a problem. (I’m totally kidding mom).
This is for all the people out there that love a good drink but don’t need it to be super strong. It’s a drink for those who like lounging in the backyard or by the pool enjoying the sun and the start of spring. For those of you still experiencing tons of wet, cold, snowy weather, well then, this one is for you as well. Make a big batch of this stuff and close your eyes imagining that snow isn’t there anymore. I’ve got you covered.
Sangria is typically made with red wine which is how the name sangria got placed onto it because it has something to do with it looking like the color of blood…or something along those lines. I can’t really remember what I read about it. Perhaps I was drinking at the time. Anyhow, I’m not much of a fan of red wine so I wanted to make a white wine sangria. With white wine, which I guess makes sense, and since I’ve been in a strawberry rhubarb kick lately, I thought to myself, “Self, why not make a strawberry rhubarb sangria? That sounds delicious!” And what do you know? It was delicious. I should listen to myself more often. Right now I’m telling myself I could use a couple glasses of strawberry rhubarb sangria, excuse me.
We’re going to start by making a quick and simple syrup for our sangria. Simple syrup is easy to make, hence why it’s called “simple syrup.” It could also be called simple because of the two ingredients in it, I’m not too sure. But hey, all that matters is that it’s easy to make, right?
We start by pouring sugar into a small pot and then adding water.
**Note: It’s usually equal parts of both water and sugar and it gets super syrupy but I find that by using equal parts it’s a little too sweet for my taste. So I do about half a cup of sugar to one cup of water. That way it’s sweet but not too sweet where you might die from a sugar overdose.**
Bring the syrup to a rapid boil and turn off the heat. Add the cubed rhubarb and allow it to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl and chill for at least half an hour.
**Note: It’s important to allow the hot syrup to sort of infuse and wilt the rhubarb a bit because rhubarb by itself can be very sour and bitter and ka-pow in your face. But when you slightly cook it down, it becomes sweet and perfect.**
Good news is that that was probably the hardest step of the recipe. We can totally handle that, right? Now we’re going to put together this sangria because it’s about time and I’m sure you (like me) are super thirsty at this point. I’ve hulled and quartered the strawberries so they are ready for us when we need them, which is now.
You’ll need a large pitcher or glass vessel of some sort. Like a giant jar or something, will work just fine. If you’re really in a pinch and need something quick, then you can use a large vase for flowers. Just make sure it’s super clean.
Dump the strawberries into the pitcher.
Next up, add the rhubarb simple syrup. Again, make sure it’s super cold before adding it. It doesn’t have to be ice cold but at the very least make sure it isn’t hot or warm.
**Tip: At this point you can add more fresh fruit if you wish. If you feel like adding another type of berry, like raspberries or blackberries or sliced plums or peaches, or cherries (if they’re in season), then feel free to add those as well. I like the simplicity of the strawberries and rhubarb, so that’s all I’m adding.**
Pour in the fresh squeezed orange juice. If you don’t have the time to squeeze a few oranges, you can use store bought orange juice. (I’ll only slightly judge you).
I’m making this sangria a little differently because I’m using ginger ale instead of club soda or seltzer. I’m kind of obsessed with ginger ale, if you don’t already know that. It’s the only “soda” I drink. I think that the flavor goes really well with the fresh fruit and the white wine. Add it in now.
Add the white wine. You want something sweet but nothing too sweet. At the same time, you don’t want a white wine that is extremely dry, like a Chardonnay. Or maybe you do, what do I know? I guess you can use a Chardonnay if you want to. I just think that it could be a little too strong for this drink. I used a Sauvignon Blanc. You could also use a Pinot Grigio, though.
Pour an entire bottle of white wine in. Yes the entire bottle. Pour it all in because you want to have fun. Pour all of it because you know how to be cool. Pour the entire bottle because you really could use that drink right about now.
And that’s pretty much it, you’re done! You can totally whip this up in no time and get it ready for a party or gathering. One of those backyard celebrations would be kind of awesome to throw with the sole excuse of making this sangria. Get a couple glasses ready with some ice and a lime slice.
**Tip: Right before serving, you can add a ton of ice to the pitcher and stir around. That’s a great way to chill it. But also, just make sure the ginger ale and the wine are extremely cold before mixing everything together.**
Pour you and your friends a couple of glasses, make sure to get plenty of fruit into the glasses as well. Don’t just go for the booze. And if you don’t have friends drinking with you, well I’m not opposed to drinking by yourself. That just means more for you.
Garnish the cups with a little strawberry because you want to look fancy while carrying your sangria. Even if you’re drinking by yourself, add that strawberry. You deserve it. Might as well go all the way. I also like to add a sprig of fresh mint to the glasses because fresh mint is kind of awesome in cocktails….it adds a green touch.
If you want to talk about making this in advance, a few hours before your party starts, that’s okay. You can definitely do that. Put everything together except the ginger ale. Add that right before your guests arrive so that it stays bubbly and carbonated. Definitely make that rhubarb simple syrup a few days in advance because the longer it sits the tastier it gets.
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 rhubarb stalks, cubed
- 1 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
- 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 4 cups (32 ounces) chilled ginger ale
- 1 bottle (750 ml) chilled white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- fresh lime slices, for garnish
- fresh mint, for garnish
- In a small pot, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a rapid boil. Remove from heat, and stir in the rhubarb. Allow to cool down to room temperature. Transfer to a small bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- In a large pitcher, combine orange juice, fresh strawberries, cooled rhubarb syrup, ginger ale, white wine, and ice. To serve, ladle into tall glasses with ice. Add a lime slice and a sprig of fresh mint. Enjoy!
- yields: 4 to 6 servings