I love finding myself at the bottom of a sangria glass eyeing a heap of wine-soaked fresh fruit. Though pitchers of red wine sangria are often served in summertime, I associate red wine with cozy ambiance and beef stews. Some years ago, I stumbled on a recipe for white sangria and loved the idea of the crisper flavor and a lighter color that shows off the colorful fruit buoyed within.

This summer, I added a little gingerale to the recipe I’d been serving and liked it even better. I fill large glass vessels and serving with a ladle rather than a pitcher. I get anxious with pitchers as the weight of the fruit threatens to make a mess of the pour and getting an equal distribution of fruit amongst the glasses is tough. If you have a large vase, the type you might put a bunch of gladiolas in, it will also work with a ladle for serving. Clear is always best to show off your beautiful drink.

For outdoor, summer parties, we’ve taken to using jars as glassware. We buy Bonne Maman jam and love the size and wide rim for drinking. Serve sangria with a colorful paper straw, and a skewer of some sort so guests don’t have to dig their fingers into the glass to reach the spoils at the bottom!

This year, I added some raspberries to the fruit mixture but just at the last minute as they break down over time and get ugly. Add the citrus and apples ahead of time if you can for extra “soak time” and flavor infusion.

White Sangria
(can be doubled for a crowd)

2 bottles crisp, fruity white wine (Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup Cointreau
12 ounces gingerale
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 green apple, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
Raspberries or sliced strawberries (optional)

Put the lemon, orange, lime and apple in a glass container and add wine and Cointreau. Stir. If possible, refrigerate overnight or at least for 2 hours. Before serving, add the gingerale and stir. Add the red berries for color if you like. Ladle over ice and serve with a straw (and a skewer for eating the fruit!)