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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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
Pour the wine, lemonade and whisky in a large pitcher and mix well. Set aside.
Evenly distribute the fruit between six wide-mouth, pint-sized mason jars.
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.
Screw the lids on and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (could make up to a day in advance).
When ready to serve add ice, top off with sparkling water and a slice of lemon.
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