We’ve been lucky with the weather in New York this week. It’s mostly been overcast and warm-but-not-too-hot — perfect for walking and exploring. But yesterday mixed things up a bit with a hot sunny morning where we were seeking out shade and cold drinks, followed by an afternoon/evening of intense rain. We’ve enjoyed all the variation.
When the sun breaks through the clouds and the heat hits, our first stop is one of the juice trucks on the street. There’s nothing like a fruity, ice-y, drink to make walking another ten blocks worth it, hah! So when I saw this Non Alcoholic Sangria recipe from Lindsey, my first thought was: perfect timing! And my second thought was: I can’t wait to get home to try this recipe.
Here’s what Lindsey says:
When I was a kid, I would see sangria recipes in magazines or on television and they always looked so refreshing. Fruit is my favorite fruit. I love alllll the fruit, but especially stone fruit. Summer is when my tastebuds are the happiest. I have had sangria a few times as an adult, and I’m definitely a fan. I wanted to create a non-alcoholic sangria that my kids could enjoy too.
This Non Alcoholic Sangria refreshing and light, and you get to eat the fruit too. That is definitely one of the best parts.
Summer fruit can mean just about anything – melon, peaches, plums, cherries, berries, apricots, tropical fruit, etc. I’m using a combination of stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums) because they are what I most associate with summer where I live. Did you know Idaho is one of the nation’s largest producers of cherries and peaches? I had no idea! So Idaho is definitely more than potatoes. ; )
How To Make Non Alcoholic Sangria
Sangria, if you aren’t familiar with it, is a fruit punch of sorts made with sliced fruit to which red or white wine has been added. The fruit is left in the wine to soak and infuse the liquid. And before serving, other liquids like sparkling water or juice, or liqueur are added. So basically a boozy fruit punch. I swapped the wine for peach nectar.
I’ve made this recipe and similar ones using frozen juice concentrate with some water added for the first step. You can use your favorite juice. I like white grape, white cranberry, apple or pear because they are lighter in color — I like to see all the pretty fruit. But really, any fruit juice will work. I don’t add sugar because I think the juice is sweet enough, but if it’s not, totally add some sweetener to fit your taste.
Cutting the fruit and allowing it to steep in the liquid is what helps release the flavors. I know it might seem a little weird, and you certainly don’t have to add it, but I like to add a little apple cider or champagne vinegar to the pitcher. I think it adds a nice little tang that isn’t overwhelmingly vinegary. (I’m a fan of vinegary drinks like switchels and shrubs, so adding more wouldn’t bother me one bit.) I leave the cherries whole, but make sure to pit them.
Sometimes I like to add sprigs of fresh herbs, too. Totally optional. I have a ton of fresh mint, basil, and thyme in my container garden. I love the herb-y flavor that one or two sprigs adds. I don’t want to go overboard — even a small handful of leaves will add just enough flavor.
The overnight soak is really integral to the flavor. Everything melds together. The fruit soaks up the juice, the juice takes on more fruit flavor. Then just before serving, I will strain out any fruit that is too mushy or discolored (and save them for smoothies) and transfer everything to a punch bowl along with some fresh sliced fruit. That’s more about the aesthetic than for taste — mushy fruit doesn’t have the same appeal.
To the punch bowl, I will add sparkling water or juice, ginger ale or lemon-lime soda. I like it less sweet and concentrated, and I love the fizziness.
To my mind, it really is the quintessential summer party drink.
I’m planning a late summer soiree with some friends and I’ll do a slight tropical take on this by using pineapple juice and mango with the peaches. I can’t wait to see how it goes. Who could resist an ice cold mocktail on a hot summer night?
Non-Alcoholic Summer Fruit Punch
- 32 ounces peach nectar or other fruit juice
- 2 peaches, peeled and pitted and thinly sliced
- 2 nectarines, peeled and pitted and thinly sliced
- 3 black or red plums, pitted and sliced
- 3 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- A few fresh herb sprigs (rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, sage), optional
- 1-2 tablespoons apple cider or champagne vinegar, optional
- Chilled still water, sparkling water or juice, lemon-lime soda, or club soda, for serving
- For serving — extra freshly sliced peaches and nectarines
- Fresh herbs, for garnish, optional
- Place all of the fruit into a very large pitcher. Pour the nectar or juice over the fruit and stir so everything is submerged. Add herb sprig and/or vinegar, if using. Refrigerate, covered if possible, for several hours or overnight.
- Just before serving, remove any fruit that is overly mushy or dark in color, if desired. Transfer the fruit and the juice to a punch bowl or beverage dispenser. Add freshly sliced fruit to the bowl and add still or sparkling water, juice, or soda to the bowl. Stir well. And let guests serve themselves.
- For individual servings, add the sparkling or still water or juice, or soda to the pitcher and stir well. Spoon a little fruit into the glasses and ladle or pour sangria over the top. Garnish as desired. Serve immediately.
Note: You can use juice concentrate in place of the juice/nectar. Don’t reconstitute as carton directions say. Add only enough water so fruit is covered. Add extra water, if needed, along with sparkling water or juice just before serving.
—– Thank you, Lindsey. This looks and sounds so delicious!
Like Lindsey, I’m a huge fan of fruit. And I’m especially drawn to stone fruits in the summer. Maybe it’s just me, but the cherries have been especially good this year — the nectarines too! How about you? Do you have access to good summer fruit in your area?
Photos and recipe by Lindsey Rose Johnson for Design Mom.