I wasn’t always a wine drinker. In fact, it took a little convincing by my husband before I ventured past the one, safe merlot I was clinging to. Silly me. I should’ve opened up the floodgates to wine years ago. Well, now I sound like a lush – at least we got that out of the way.
The summer we lived in Portland our friends invited us to their wedding followed by one of the most perfect receptions I’ve ever attended. There was a tent. There were close friends. There was an angry mob across the street protesting foie gras. There was dancing to bluegrass music even though no one knew what the hell they were doing. It was chaos and madness and beauty. There was lemon blueberry and chocolate ganache cake, which I embraced two slices of. And, there was sangria (the elixir that truly got the party going).
Sangria is delicate, refreshing, and sweet. It’s the perfect afternoon drink and especially lovely for a wine novice that’s not quite used to the dry taste it can sometimes leave behind. It is colorful, it is beautiful, it is a party in a glass. In other words, it is the unofficial queen of the wine scene.
Origins of Sangria
The earliest versions of sangria believed to have originated more than 2,000 years ago when Romans, making their way through the Iberian Peninsula, planted vineyards along the way and fortified unsafe drinking water with wine, spices, and herbs.
Fast forward to the early 1700s and 1800s when versions of what we now know as sangria were made in England, France, and eventually popularized in the U.S. at its arrival at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.
Despite its global popularity and common association with Spain, there is no official formula for sangria in Spain, and local restaurants are more often found to be serving a Spanish drink called tinto de verano, which is a simple blend of red wine, ice, and lemon soda or casera (sweetened soda water).
Since its inception and evolution, many other versions have become popular as well, including white sangria made with Spanish white wine, cava (sparkling Spanish white wine), and even cider. (source)
This particular recipe was inspired by my love for all things citrus and, of course, mint. I could eat mint and basil by the handful, hence the reason they pop up on Minimalist Baker so often.
To prepare this sangria, you’ll need a dry white wine (such as Vinho Verde, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio), lime, lemon, simple syrup, and mint. We opted for a pinot grigio, deciding a chardonnay wouldn’t complement the citrus as well.
The result is a refreshing white sangria with plenty of lemon-lime flavor and the slightest hint of mint. But if you love mint as much as we do, feel free to add more. We won’t judge.
Mint and Citrus White Wine Sangria
- 1 bottle white wine* (we opted for a pinot grigio // other options would be a dry riesling, sauvignon blanc, or cava for a sparkling option)
- 1 medium lemon (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium lime (thinly sliced)
- 8-10 mint leaves
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp water
- Prepare simple syrup by mixing sugar and water in a small dish and microwaving for 30-second increments until sugar is dissolved. Alternatively, prepare a large batch on the stovetop using a 1:1 sugar-water ratio and reserve for later use.
- Once simple syrup is ready, add 1 Tablespoon to each wine glass. Then add mint leaves and stir/lightly muddle. Next add several slices each of lemon and lime.
- Top off with wine and let set for a few minutes so the flavors can meld together. Top off with more wine and citrus as needed.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.