Summer Sangria with Vanilla Amaretto, Red Wine, Oranges, Apples, Lemon, and Lime

I have an ingenious way of making sangria. Well, really it’s an ingenious way of making boozy fruit. The first day you make it you need to wait a day, but after that it’s daily sangria! Kind of self-watering containers where a lot of the work is done for you and you have a seemingly endless supply of water, but more delicious and alcoholic.

Basically you do is chop up whatever fruit you want, pour half a bottle of wine over it in a glass jar, add an ounce of a sweet liqueur that goes well with red wine (amaretto, cointreau, brandy, etc.), and let it soak into the fruit overnight. No tonic water, no boxed or fresh juices, and no added sugar besides the liqueur involved. Then the next day you eat the wine-drenched fruit. But you don’t drink all the liquid – there’s more than enough alcohol in the fruit without drinking all the wine juice. A lot of the alcohol soaks into the fruit and a lot of the fruit juice mixes with the wine, so what you have at the bottom is the perfect starter for your next batch of sangria. All you do is replenish the glass with more chopped fruit of your choice. Wait overnight. Eat fruit. Replenish with more fruit. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat – until it starts to snow.Sangria with red wine, amaretto, vanilla, apples, oranges, grapefruit, limes and lemonHere’s my recipe:

Ingredients (Serves 2 – double the quantity of fruit and maybe the quantity of alcohol for more people. Just make sure the fruit are covered):
2 apples
2 oranges
1/2 grapefruit
1 lime
1 lemon

1/2 bottle red wine that you’re happy to drink. Preferably something Spanish and fruity that’s low in sulfites and comes from what seems to be a good winery.
1 oz amaretto (I put vanilla beans in my cheap, non-Disaronno amaretto because it needed some perking up. You can also add a vanilla beans – or half – to the mason jar and let it infuse that way. Vanilla extract would also work – 1/4 tsp – but wouldn’t be quite the same)

Tricks/Directions: Peel the apples so the alcohol soaks into and stains the flesh, but put the apple peels in the bottom of the mason jar first for flavour. Chop the apples into chunks and add to the peels in the jar. Using a sharp knife, remove the skin, pith and membrane (white parts) from the oranges, grapefruit, lemons and lime and chop into slices or chunks. Add to the mason jar along with the apples. Add the amaretto (and vanilla bean if the bean hasn’t already been soaking in the amaretto for a week or more – you can just leave it in there), and finally add the red wine. If it doesn’t all fit, don’t worry about it. A little more or a little less is not a big deal. If you have leftover wine either:

a) drink it
b) save it for the next day in case you need to top up the fruit-soaking juices
c) add it to the fruit tomorrow when you remove it from the jar.

Now the hard part: REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT! Do not drink this right away!!! It will be so much better tomorrow. If you want sangria right away make a double batch and drink half now (skip the apple peels in today’s batch).

I just eat the fruit out of the liquid and make a few mason jars of the stuff if I’m sharing with friends. The hard thing is remembering to cut up more fruit for the next batch after you’ve just downed a bunch of boozy fruit. Kind of like doing the dishes after making a big meal…but intoxicated.

Enjoy the dog days of summer and endless sangria.


  1. Melissa Saunders says

    Ms. Watson, I look forward to making this one! Thanks again, you are a treat providing treats!

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