A Frugal Cocktail?

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:36 am on Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last night I made white wine sangria. It is a perfect summer drink, cool and refreshing. And it occurred to me, as I chopped a slightly browned apple and some past-their-prime strawberries, that sangria is a great way to use up oldish fruit. And because it’s a punch, there’s no need to use good wine or good brandy in the cocktail. Sangria is an economical drink that doesn’t taste like it is economical.

I punched the numbers this morning and discovered that this sangria only cost me $3.70 a pitcher, or $.62 a glass. Compare that to a bottle of white wine ($11 or so, or $2.20 a glass) or a margarita (roughly $4.50 a glass using decent tequila, I’m guessing).

More on that in a second. First, here’s the recipe.

White Wine Sangria


    About 2 cups fruit, chopped.
    3 oz brandy*
    1 bottle cheap white wine (I used Charles Shaw Chardonnay, otherwise known as $2 Chuck)
    Half a liter of 7-Up, Sprite, or club soda to top

* I make strong Sangria. If you want a lighter version, use 1.5 oz, or one shot, of brandy instead.


Cut up fruit and put in a pitcher. I used strawberries, peaches, champagne grapes, and half an apple. The only “new” fruit I added to the mix were the peaches–everything else came from the garden or were on the old side.

Pour brandy and wine in the pitcher. Refrigerate for at least an hour so the alcohol can work on the fruit and release their juices.

Add about half a liter of 7-Up to the mix. Pour into wine glasses and serve. It makes about 6 glasses of Sangria, enough to share with friends.

Cost of Dish: Brandy: $1.20 (or $.60 if you do the lighter version); Wine: $2; Peaches: $.25; Other fruit: Free from the garden or about to be thrown out; 7-Up: $.25.
Total Cost: $3.70 or $.62 per serving. (For lighter Sangria: $3.10 or $.52 per serving.)

Pretty good for an entire pitcher of drinks.


Comment by AlchemistGeorge

July 30, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

ah, just an hour? That’s fast! My gf just asked me about white sangria, never thought of using two buck chuck – that’s a great idea!

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

July 31, 2009 @ 8:17 am

Good point–I changed it to “at least” an hour. The longer you refrigerate, the better it is.

Comment by peter loader

August 1, 2009 @ 5:14 am

add vermouth, stir with cinnamon stick, enjoy with friends in sun, prepare to pickup diced carrots in morning.

Pingback by Savvy Housekeeping » Champagne Punch

January 3, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

[...] for New Year’s tomorrow. I love champagne punch. I mean, come on, it is a combination of sangria and champagne cocktails, two things I’m a big fan [...]

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September 3, 2012 @ 7:14 am

[...] Sangria: A Frugal Cocktail? [...]

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