Sparkling Strawberry Sangria

Warm weather is meant for friends, family and hours lingering outside with a fresh drink in hand. This light, slightly sweet, strawberry cocktail is easily made with or without booze, and intended to serve a crowd. Just place the pitcher on the table next to a glistening ice bucket, and a tray full of rocks glasses.

To make this drink alcohol-free, replace the elderflower liqueur with elderflower simple syrup, and replace the Prosecco with club soda. Elderflower simple syrup can be found at specialty stores, Ikea, or online.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Macerating time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 pounds strawberries, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup packed basil (about 10 large leaves) + more for garnish
  • 2 bottles of Prosecco or sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups elderflower liqueur, such as St. Germain
  • Club soda (optional)

 

Special equipment:

  • A large pitcher

Method

1 Zest the lemon: Use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of lemon skin from the lemon. Don’t dig in too deeply. You only want the yellow outer portion of the skin, leaving most of the white pith on the lemon.

Juice the lemons and measure out 2 tablespoons of juice (save the remaining juice for another use). Set zest aside to make the simple syrup.

Pitcher Sangria with Strawberries making the lemon zest

2 Prep and macerate the strawberries: Slice half of the strawberries (1 pound) into quarters and toss them with 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a medium sized bowl.

Set aside on the counter and let macerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours while you make the Basil Simple Syrup.

Strawberry Wine Spritzer macerate the strawberries

3 Make the basil simple syrup: Combine 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Wait until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes, then remove from heat and add the 1/4 cup of basil. Smash the basil a bit in the pan with a muddler or a potato masher. Add the strips of lemon zest.

Set the simple syrup aside and let it cool to room temperature—about 20 to 30 minutes. The longer you let the herbs and lemon steep the more prominent those flavors will become in the syrup.

Strain the syrup. Toss the basil. Save the lemon zest strips. (This simple syrup can be kept refrigerated for up to a week.)

Sangria with Strawberries and Sparkling Water make the basil simple syrup

4 Puree the strawberries: Transfer the macerated strawberries and all their juices to a blender or food processor. Puree, then strain the puree. (This puree can be refrigerated for up to a day.

Strawberry Wine Spritzer puree the strawberries

5 Make the sangria: From the remaining strawberries, reserve 10 of the smaller strawberries for garnish (slice in half if they seem too large). Hull and slice the remainder.

In a large pitcher, combine the strawberry puree, basil lemon syrup, and elderflower liqueur. Stir to combine. Add two bottles of Prosecco, the sliced strawberries, fresh basil leaves, and the lemon peels from the simple syrup. Stir again.

Pitcher Sangria with Strawberries make the sangria

6 Serve and Garnish: Pour the sangria into glasses filled with ice, and top with one fresh basil leaf.

For the strawberry garnish, make a small cut down the center of a small strawberry, leaving the stem intact at the top. Slip the strawberry onto the rim of your glass.

Serve as is, or top with club soda to soften the sweetness of the drink or dilute the alcohol content.

Strawberry Wine Spritzer serve the sangria

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Comments

  • Aileen

    Looks delicious! Would I reduce the amount of simple syrup if using elderflower syrup rather than liqueur? I imagine it might be rather sweet. Any tips?

    • Summer

      Hi, Aileen — It depends. Are you replacing the wine with club soda to make it booze free? Are your berries really sweet or kind of tart? All of these factors would impact the amount of syrup you use. Elderflower liqueur is pretty sweet, so doing a direct replacement shouldn’t alter the recipe too much. I would use a taste as you go approach. Add a little of each until it reaches the level of sweetness you prefer. You may also decide you want more of the lemon basil simple syrup and less of the elderflower syrup or vice versa.

      • Aileen

        Thank you, this was helpful! I just made this using 2 bottles prosecco and 1 small bottle elderflower syrup (200ml), and it turned out beautifully!

  • Michelle

    This looks delicious!! I was wondering if there would be a substitute for the elderberry liquor as I am having a hard time finding it? Thank you!

    • Summer

      Hi, Michelle — If you can’t find St. Germain, you could try Chambord in a smaller dose or Grand Marnier.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Michelle! Emma here, managing editor. I checked with Summer and we think that an orange liquor, like Grand Marnier, would probably make the best substitute for the elderflower liquor in this recipe. Enjoy!

  • Eleni

    I know this recipe is going to be delicious. Mind sharing where you got those darling bubble trimmed glasses & pitcher? Thank you and I look forward to making this sangria for my next event.

    • SALLY

      Hi Eleni, I found the glasses at Target! and I bought the pitcher at Ikea. It was a random coincidence that they sort of matched. I am always prop shopping :)

  • Marta Rivera

    I loved the floral aspect of this sangria! I’d been curious about elderflower liqueur for the longest time and I finally had an excuse to purchase and use it!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Julia

    Smmmmoooooothhhhhhhhh