I mentioned in my How to Stay Organized Planning a Wedding post that I was researching sangria recipes to start testing out my own mixes before the wedding. Originally, we wanted his and hers cocktails to offer to our guests before and during dinner. Our venue, however, only allows beer and wine, so we’ve had to improvise. Inspired by a local pizza chain here in LA, I started dreaming of red and white sangrias for the cocktail hour. Without spirits, sangria recipe creation requires a bit of innovation. I think with fresh fruits and some tasty infused syrups, we’ll have some great drinks to offer (fingers crossed!). This cherry sangria with chardonnay is my first round of recipe testing and I’m loving it so far.
I went a little crazy with the lemon juice at first, but by the end the balance was perfect! I think it’ll take some practice to get the mix right at the beginning before the flavors marry (haha – pun intended)!
I LOVE fresh cherries in the summer. I have so many fond memories of being on the lake near our house eating cherries with family and friends, thinking life was pretty fantastic. It might be the color or the flavor, but they bring a happy joy to my heart either way.
For this cherry sangria, I pitted the cherries. I did this so the fruits could infuse the flavor of the drink more readily and so they were easier to eat. Pitted cherries are not the sexiest looking thing, to be sure.
If you would prefer to leave them whole, you absolutely can. I’d recommend juicing some of the cherries to add in to be certain the cherry flavor is present. You could also buy cherry juice to use, which sounds a lot easier!
CHERRY SANGRIA w. CHARDONNAY
Limited to only serving beer and wine at our wedding, I decided to create some seasonal sangrias to offer during our happy hour. This cherry sangria was one of the first recipes I created and it’s still one of my favorites!
- 750 mL chardonnay wine
- 3 cups frozen pitted cherries (get the pitter here)
- 1/4 cup elderflower liqueur or syrup
- 1 cup club soda
- 1/3 cup simple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 small or 1 large lemon thinly sliced
Remove 1 cup cherries from freezer. Let thaw.
In a large pitcher, combine wine, elderflower syrup/liqueur, club soda, simple syrup, and lemon juice.
In a small bowl, crush thawed cherries to begin releasing juice. Add mashed and frozen cherries and lemon slices to the pitcher.
Refrigerate at least 2 hour before serving.