Saffron Sangria

Saffron Sangria

Traditionally, sangria may be made with red wine but a summer as brutal as this one calls for lighter libations, especially when served up with summer fruit over ice. While most spices are warming to the body, saffron, the beautiful crimson stigma of Crocus Sativus, is one of the unique ones that cools the body. These days, even in Spain, where sangrias originated, wildly different iterations of sangria exist along with sangria blanca, white wine sangria. This is one we experimented with at the restaurant a couple of years ago and has become my favorite drink this summer. It’s light, deeply flavorful and the saffron cools the back of your throat as it goes down. If you prefer not to have alcohol, add lemon juice, and turn it into a lemonade! Feel free to add local berries or freshly pitted cherries to the sangria.

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Cook Time

90 Minutes



Step 1
Over high heat in a small stockpot, combine the saffron with sugar, cardamom, orange extract, salt and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the syrup cool. Refrigerate.
Step 2
When ready to serve, in a large pitcher, combine the syrup with wine and sparkling water. Serve over ice with orange slices and mint sprigs.
2 cups sugar
Generous pinch saffron
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon orange extract
Pinch salt
Mint sprigs
1 orange, cut into round slices
1 bottle of light white wine of your choice
2 12-oz cans of sparkling water

Notes & Variations

  • Alternately, instead of wine, add 1 cup of lemon juice to the mixture and dilute with as much water as needed.


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