Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Make a Virgin Sangria While Amusing Your Cat by Cleo Coyle

Got overripe fruit?  Waste not! This virgin sangria is a nice way to make use of it. 

Why virgin? 
A white wine sangria is delicious, and one of my favorite summer drinks, but on a warm day, I prefer that my fingers hit my laptop keyboard rather than my forehead, which means no firewater until the workday is done. A virgin sangria is also a good solution for households with kids because the drink can be converted into an adult beverage at the time it's poured, which means one pitcher can conveniently serve drinkers and non-drinkers.

Want a Happy Hour Cooler? 
Spike it...
To turn this drink into an adult beverage, Marc and I recommend mixing the virgin sangria in a glass with a generous splash of port, sherry, brandy, grappa, cognac, or your favorite fortified wine. Fruit liqueurs (and amaretto) work well, too. The virgin sangria will dilute the alcohol, which is why a more concentrated choice works better for mixing this cooler than using a standard red, white or sparkling wine (although your mileage may vary). While we’ve never tried vodka, it should work well, as should rum. Unfortunately, as I’ve written in the past on this blog, white rum sends me to the dark side, so it’s a non-starter for me. That’s why I drink a virgin mojito.

To get my Virgin Mojito recipe (pictured right), see my "Tale of the Virgin Mojito" post by clicking here.

For my Virgin Sangria recipe,
scroll down...

Cleo Coyle's 
Virgin Sangria - Makes 2 quarts


- 1 (11.5 fluid ounce) can of frozen
   white grape juice concentrate

- 1 quart bottled or sparkling water
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 4 to 5 peaches or nectarines, chopped
- 2 cups chopped watermelon

MIX IT: Empty concentrate into your pitcher or container and stir in the water. When the concentrate is melted into a smooth liquid, add in the fruit. Stir well, cover, and chill for several hours or overnight. The fruit will fortify the white grape juice, making it refreshingly delicious. It will also blush the color from an unappetizing dark yellow to a pretty shade of deep pink. 

SERVE IT: Serve chilled in a frosty cold glass and garnish by a triangle of watermelon or small strawberry (see photo above for ideas).

SPIKE IT, IF YOU LIKE: This is a versatile drink for a household with children or one with drinkers and non-drinkers. To serve this drink as an adult beverage, simply mix half a glass of the virgin sangria with a generous splash of port, sherry, or your favorite fortified wine. Brandy, grappa, cognac, vodka, rum, and fruit liqueurs are other possible ways to spike this refreshing summer cooler. (A concentrated wine or hard alcohol will give you better results than standard wines or sparkling wines, which may taste too diluted by the virgin sangria.)

Amuse Your Cat... 

Yes, as I was taking photos for this post, our newest adopted New York Stray, Durango Quick (aka “Rango” or “Mr. Quick”), decided that a peach also makes a very good beach ball. And, of course, after playtime, he decided to take a taste of the delicious water droplets shimmering on the edge of my watermelon garnish. So…

Cheers to all you thirsty
cats out there!

Drink with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


  1. So funny Cleo--the kitty is gorgeous and so is the drink! I've got to get Yoda to help out next time...

  2. I am having company this weekend and this is PERFECT for me to make. I can't wait to try it.

  3. Cleo, perfect timing to beat the heat. We need to keep drinking (ahem) and no one could resist this -- not even a cat!

    Durango Quick has to be the luckiest cat in the city to be adopted by you. He's quite handsome, too. Sunny says rrrow! =^..^=

    ~ Krista

  4. How totally adorable! Mr. Quick has such loads of personality, I can see why you just had to adopt him. His peachy antics remind me of Miss Sarah's coy flirtation with a single blueberry last night. Which reminds me...what did happen to that blueberry?

    I am officially a fan of your Virgin drinks! The Virgin Mojito from last summer is my all-time favorite drink (next to water and hot tea), and I swear it kept me alive during our just-broken two-week 103-to-113-every-single-day heat wave. The Sangria looks too delectable to pass up for very long. Better make a trip to the store NOW.

  5. A fruit eating cat! How wonderful! The pictures are adorable!! Love the virgin recipe, too. We all need virgin drinks. LOL Thanks, Cleo. Sharing on FB now. :)

    ~Avery aka Daryl