Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How to Make Virgin Sangrias and Virgin Mojitos from Cleo Coyle for a Happy #July4th!

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 drinks, but on a workday, I prefer that my fingers hit my laptop keyboard rather than my forehead, which means no firewater until the day 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 above),
see my "Tale of the Virgin Mojito" post by clicking here.

For my Virgin Sangria recipe,
scroll on 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.)

And to all of our readers in the USA...

Happy July 4th!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


(with mini plot summaries)
clicking here.


Sign up for my newsletter!
Simply write an e-mail that says
"Sign me up" and send it to this address...


This will also enter you in my weekly
Free Coffee Drawings.
Every week, I give away a package of
premium coffee to a subscriber.

Good luck!

* * * 

Billionaire Blend
*Starred Review - Kirkus

The hardcover bestseller

is now in paperback!

See the Recipe Guide
by clicking here.


Haunted Bookshop

Free Title Checklist,
with mini plot summaries,


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. those look beautiful Cleo! Hope your writing rush is done by the weekend so you can celebrate! xo

  2. This looks like the perfect refreshing drink for the hot days of July in the South.

  3. Well done, as always.
    I went back and read the mojito entry and all the comments. Good reading!
    My one thing is anticipating champagne-like wine and not having it live up to my expectations. I had a bottle from Russia that a friend's brother had smuggled out for her. It was amazing--smooth and creamy (Not sweet, not tongue searingly dry). Nothing I've tried since has come up to this benchmark. Sigh

  4. Love! I've been looking for virgin drinks (or mocktails as I call them) to serve my now-pregnant sister. This one is definitely making the list!

  5. These look so refreshing! I could go for one right now...!

  6. Lucy, Mason, Libby, Maria, and Peg -

    Thank you all so much for stopping by today! I admit I had fun revisiting my old Virgin Mojito post. I still wish I could drink white rum, but (alas) it remains my Kryptonite! So here's to *happy* drinking -- and whether your cocktails are spiked or not - may you all...

    Have and a fabulous
    July Fourth weekend!

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  7. What beautiful drinks! Cleo, gorgeous!

    Daryl / Avery

  8. Thank you for the recipes. I am SO going to try the Sangria recipe!!!

  9. How beautifully refreshing! I'd like to serve both. Your Virgin Mojito become my favorite summer drink when you first posted it, and still is (I even planted a patch of Mojito Mint just to insure my supply)! But that Sangria is so beautiful, I have got to make that too. Thanks, Cleo!