cocktails

The Easiest Mason Jar Sangria

easy sangria in a mason jar

I'm comin' in hot with a cocktail recipe that is simple and perfect for your 4th of July festivities! It's my lazy girl take on classic sangria and I am going totally basic and serving it up in mason jars. 

In all seriousness, the jars make this a breeze as a hostess because you can make them ahead of time, screw the lids on and throw them over some ice for a fun presentation and built in glass - no extra cups required. Sangria is already really simple but I swapped out some ingredients to make it even more approachable for you busy folks! The patriotic colors make it even more fun for the holiday, but of course you could serve this all summer long. 

ingredients for sangria

Wine

I went red because I prefer red sangria over other variations, but you can use white or rosé too. If you switch up the wine, just think about the other flavors and make ingredient adjustments accordingly. In terms of which type of wine to use,  any cabernet, merlot or shiraz should work just fine; it really comes down to your taste preferences (sweet or dry).  My suggestion is to go for an inexpensive bottle since you will be mixing it with other things anyway. This is not the time to splurge on that fancy one you've been eyeing!

Juice

A traditional sangria typically has orange juice, but the thought of drinking a glass of orange juice in the hot sun is not super appealing to me so I went for lemonade. I knew the flavor would pair nice with the fruit I chose, and I often have this Simply Lemonade on hand in the summer so it was the practical choice. Many sangrias also include some sort of sugar or sweetener, but since lemonade is plenty sweet, I omitted that component for taste and simplicity. 

Liquor

I swapped in whisky for the more traditional brandy because I hate having to buy something I won't use in anything else and brandy is one of these. But use whatever you like. Vodka would probably work too!

Fruit

The options for fruit are endless. In the past I have used anything from oranges to mangos to melon in sangria and it always turns out great. To keep the patriotic theme going I went red (strawberries), white (apple) and blue, er... black? (blackberries). The lemon pictured above is for the garnish but some citrus is always a nice addition. I have also seen some people get really clever and cut the apples in a star shape for the 4th of July but I'm not that cutesy or patient. If you have it in you to do that part, I think it would be a hit! 

Bubbles

I chose sparkling water because again, I always have it on hand. You could also use lemon-lime soda, basic club soda or even prosecco if you want to get fancy. The bubbles makes all the difference though so be sure not to skip this step. Remember to wait on adding anything carbonated until just before serving since it will go flat if it sits for several hours. 

pitcher of sangria

Important Note: after having made this myself, I made the determination that it would have been much easier to divide the fruit evenly among the jars as opposed to putting it in the pitcher. 


The Easiest Mason Jar Sangria

A fresh and fruity summertime drink - perfect for the 4th of July or a backyard party!

Author: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
Yield: 6 servings | Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 4 hours 

ingredients

  • 1 bottle red wine

  • 1 cup lemonade

  • 1/4 cup whisky (or bourbon)

  • 6 oz fresh blackberries

  • 5 large strawberries, chopped

  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped

  • 1 can sparkling water

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

instructions

  1. Pour the wine, lemonade and whisky in a large pitcher and mix well. Set aside.

  2. Evenly distribute the fruit between six wide-mouth, pint-sized mason jars.

  3. Pour the wine mixture into the jars filling each to the 1 cup line. Give each a good stir and muddle the fruit just a bit.

  4. Screw the lids on and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (could make up to a day in advance).

  5. When ready to serve add ice, top off with sparkling water and a slice of lemon.


the easiest mason jar sangria in a mason jar

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Lately (the Summer Edition)

Every once in awhile I love writing a "lately" style post that features a whole bunch of random favorites at the current moment. It's fun to read these on other blogs because I always learn a few new things. Make sure to leave me a comment with some of your favorite summer finds!

The Perfect Beach Read

the rules do not apply

In terms of personal goals for this year, reading more was one of the big ones for me! So far I've read nine books this year and The Rules Do Not Apply is one of my favorites! It's a memoir written by a reporter from The New Yorker and it's raw and heartbreaking, and I could not put it down. Here's the first paragraph of the inside cover that lured me in:

When thirty-eight-year-old New Yorker writer Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true. 

I would highly recommend this for a beach read because it's quick (I finished it in two days) and compelling. 

Road Trip Podcast

There are a few new podcasts I have recently added to my rotation but my current favorite is Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. First of all, I was totally obsessed with Parenthood and he interviews several people from the cast. Secondly, I just love that he's married to Kristen Bell.

Armchair Expert is essentially a recorded conversation between Dax and one of his friends and it's really funny, lighthearted and genuine - kind of like you are getting a behind-the-scenes look at their lives. Some of my favorite episodes that I would recommend starting with are Kristen Bell, Ashton Kutcher, Jimmy Kimmel and Zach Braff (hilarious). If you have a longer road trip coming up, definitely save some of these because the episodes are usually around two hours long. 

armchair expert podcast with Dax Shephard

Seasonal Eats

I've been feeling really inspired lately with all of the new summer produce, which has been great! Most notable are these chickpea salad radicchio cups that we'll be serving at my Summer Entertaining Made Simple event this Wednesday. P.S. All attendees will get access to the recipes that we showcase. This one is so good!

Two other recipes on my radar that I'm making ASAP: Walnut Chorizo Tacos with Pineapple Salsa and Grilled Carrots with Avocado and Mint

chickpea salad in radicchio cups

Summer Beverages

Besides water I am loving all of these mocktails... and usually an actual cocktail if it's the weekend. My go-to adult beverages of the summer are been Infinite Monkey Theorem canned rosé (the cans are so fun!), Stem Ciders Salted Cucumber (so unique and amazing), and Epic Los Locos Mexican Lager. All of these are local to Colorado so you may or may not be able to find them if you live elsewhere. 

Infinite Monkey Theorem canned rose

Warm Weather Movement

On the exercise front I'm still loving ClassPass (affiliate link) for the flexibility it offers. Especially in the summer, since I don't like being tied to a membership at one place (I would much rather get outside to walk or run). I am currently on the lowest membership level which equates to about one class per week and it's been perfect! I use it most often to go to my favorite Barre3 studio but love that I can pop in to a new place with friends once in awhile too.

Also worth noting, ClassPass just added wellness services like facials, massage and acupuncture to their schedule in select markets. I tried out my very first facial over the weekend for the same amount of credits as a class (a total steal) and had a fantastic experience at Glow Facial Bar in Cherry Creek. It was super relaxing and my skin was all dewy and glowing afterwards. Definitely a fun treat!

What are you reading, listening to, eating, moving to? 

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