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Wine Wednesday: Cool off with these luscious new spins on sangria

June 18, 2014 at 3:04 PM ET

Sangria with sliced kiwi
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Sangria is the ultimate make-ahead drink for summer parties or for any night that calls for juicy, boozy refreshment. Just mix up a pitcher a day in advance, refrigerate it overnight, then add ice and seltzer when you're ready to serve it. But instead of sticking to the basic sangria—with its predictable oranges, apples and grapes—swap in these one of these fresh combinations of fruits, herbs and even vegetables to make a sensational drink you'll crave all season long. 

Note: Each of these sangrias serves 6. To make the simple syrup for these recipes, simmer together 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Let the syrup cool to room temperature before using.

Green garden sangria: Stir 1 bottle of white wine with 1/2 cup of a ginger liqueur like Domaine de Canton, plus 1/2 cup simple syrup. Add 1 peeled and sliced cucumber, 1 cored and diced Granny Smith apple, and a large handful of mint leaves. Add ice and 2 cups of chilled plain or lime seltzer before serving. Wine to try: a steely Sauvignon Blanc or dry Riesling.

Summer melon sangria: Stir 1 bottle of white wine with 1/2 cup St. Germain elderflower liqueur and 1/2 cup simple syrup. Add 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup diced cantaloupe, and a large handful of basil leaves. Add ice and 2 cups of chilled plain or orange seltzer before serving. Wine to try: a floral Chenin Blanc or sweet Moscato.

Stone fruit sangria: Stir 1 bottle of red wine with 1/2 cup Cherry Heering or cherry juice and 1/2 cup simple syrup. Add 2 or 3 pitted and diced fresh apricots, 1 or 2 pitted and diced fresh plums, and 1/2 cup pitted and halved cherries. Add ice and 2 cups of chilled plain or raspberry seltzer before serving. Wine to try: a juicy Merlot.

Berry-herb sangria: Stir 1 bottle of red wine with 1/2 cup crème de cassis or mixed berry juice and 1/2 cup simple syrup. Add 1 cup stemmed and quartered strawberries, 1 cup blackberries, and the leaves from 2 large rosemary sprigs. Add ice and 2 cups of chilled plain or raspberry seltzer before serving. Wine to try: a spicy, jammy Shiraz or Malbec.

Tropical sangria: Stir 1 bottle of rosé wine with 1/2 cup Cointreau and 1/2 cup simple syrup. Add 2 peeled and sliced kiwi fruits, 1 cup fresh peeled and diced pineapple, and 1 or 2 peeled and diced mangoes. Add ice and 2 cups of chilled plain or orange seltzer before serving. Wine to try: a fruity Italian rosé.

Sparkling pink citrus sangria: Stir 1 bottle of rosé wine with 1/2 cup St. Germain elderflower liqueur and 1/2 cup simple syrup. Add 1 cup raspberries, 2 sliced limes and 1 cup Champagne grapes. Add ice and 2 cups of chilled plain or raspberry seltzer before serving. Wine to try: a dry rosé from Provence.

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