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When I’m perusing a cocktail menu in the summertime, two drinks always catch my eye without fail: sangria and margaritas. The only trouble? Deciding between the soft fruit flavors of the former and the lip-smacking tartness that only tequila and lime can guarantee. As it turns out, I never have to make this troubling decision again, thanks to a magical little concoction called a “sangarita.”
With the potency of a marg and the juicy, easy drinking quality of sangria, it’s got everything you need for a fun evening—and it goes down dangerously smooth. The beautiful thing about a sangarita is that there are endless ways to make it, depending on your preferences. You can use white or red wine, a wide variety of different fruits, juices and purees and serve it on the rocks or frozen.
It’s also super food-friendly—while you can pair a sangarita with almost anything, Chesapeake Bartenders co-owner Courtney Smith, suggests enjoying one with chips and guac, spicy tapas dishes, smoked meats or tacos. I’ll have a tall order of them all, thanks.
Whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue, roof deck hang or an epic solo night in, here are four different sangarita recipes you’ll want to whip up pronto. Feel free to try them all and let me know your favorite.
Frozen White Sangarita
Date night prep? This recipe by Courtney Smith, co-owner of Chesapeake Bartenders, serves two.
- 1/3 can limeade (frozen from concentrate)
- .25 cup orange juice (ideally fresh-squeezed)
- 4 oz silver tequila
- 2 oz triple sec (or Grand Marnier)
- 1 cup white wine
- Salt (for rimming)
- Fill your blender 3/4 of the way with ice.
- Add limeade, orange juice, tequila, triple sec and wine.
- Blend until smooth. Always aim for more ice than liquid to achieve the perfect consistency.
- Dip the rim of your glass in a bowl of lime juice, triple sec, or water, and then onto a plate of salt.
- Pour the sangarita into your glass and serve immediately.
- Ingredients can be doubled to make four servings.
- While any white wine will do, a light, citrusy varietal that’s lower in sugar, like Pinot Grigio, is best. Kim Crawford’s Illuminate Sauvignon Blanc is dry, bright, lower in alcohol and brimming with zippy acidity.
- A 100 percent blue agave tequila, like Milagro Silver, lends unparalleled smoothness to this recipe.
- If you want a sweeter beverage, add more limeade and a dash of agave.
- Prefer a stronger taste profile? Try swapping out the tequila for mezcal, its smoky cousin.
Having a party? This recipe by Cassandra Pease, Beverage Director for Hermanito in Los Angeles, serves 10.
- 2 cups cubed watermelon
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- .25 cup Agave nectar (to taste)
- .25 cup orange liqueur
- 1 cup silver tequila
- 1 bottle rosé
- 2 limes (for serving)
- Watermelon triangles (for serving)
- 1 cup blueberries (for serving)
- 1 cup mandarin oranges (for serving)
- Blend the watermelon and cucumber with half of the fresh lime juice until it becomes a purée.
- Using a strainer, pour the watermelon juice into a large pitcher, making sure to keep the pulp and seeds out.
- Pour the remaining lime juice, tequila and wine into the pitcher, stir to combine.
- Add agave nectar to taste.
- Add your desired fruit garnishes (Recommended: blueberries, mandarin oranges, and lime wheels).
- Refrigerate the pitcher for at least an hour before serving in a wine glass over ice.
Going solo? This recipe by Volcán de Mi Tierra Ambassador Juan Carlos Ruiz serves one.
- 1.5 oz Volcan Blanco tequila
- 0.5 cup light red wine (like pinot noir)
- 1 oz agave syrup
- 1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
- Dash of Tajín and chamoy sauce
- Splash of orange juice
- Splash of Sprite
- Small handful frozen grapes, sliced red apples and frozen blueberries
- Boston shaker
- Add all ingredients except fruit to a shaker with ice, and shake until chilled.
- Pour into a glass and stir in the fruit.
Berry Hibiscus Sangarita
Like it extra-fruity? This recipe by Omar Torres, Bartender and Food & Beverage Director at Bonsai at Hilton Pensacola Beach, serves 10.
- 1 lb blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries
- 8 oz pomegranate seeds
- 6 oz lime juice
- 12 oz silver tequila
- 1 bottle rosé
- 3 oz agave nectar
- 1 orange
- Hibiscus flowers (for garnishes)
- Cutting board
- Pitcher or decanter
- Place all ingredients into a pitcher or decanter.
- Stir and let sit for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Strain the mixture into coupe glasses and top with hibiscus flowers.
- This drink pairs well with seafood—particularly grouper or snapper from the Gulf of Mexico.
- For depth and complexity of flavor, Casamigos tequila and Cloud Chaser Côtes de Provence rosé are recommended.
If you’re not into white wine, this recipe by Drew Lucido, Beverage Director at Tempus in St. Louis, serves one.
- .75 oz Lime Juice
- .5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
- 1.5 oz L.N. Mattei Cap Corse Rouge (or other fortified red wine)
- .5 oz reposado tequila
- 4 Raspberries
- 4 Blackberries
- A pinch of salt
- Cocktail shaker
- Hawthorne strainer
- Fine strainer
- Place all ingredients into the large portion of the cocktail shaker, saving one blackberry and raspberry for a garnish.
- Add ice to the shaker, put on the lid and close it securely.
- Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds until well chilled.
- Double strain the liquid into a double rocks glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with a blackberry and raspberry.
- This drink would pair well with spicy food, tacos, or BBQ.
- If you don’t have a fortified wine on hand, you can use regular red. Spanish reds that are bold, fruity, and low in tannins (like grenache and tempranillo) are best.