Sangria in Rosé, Bourbon, and Blue

Sangria in Rosé, Bourbon, and Blue -

The state of Minnesota consists of many, many food bloggers. Did you know that? We have a great group, Fortify: A Food Community (formerly Minnesota Food Bloggers), that is headed up by my lovely and non-stop friend Stephanie from fresh tart.

And it was at a summer gathering of this group (here’s a great recap from my friend Kelli) that I was introduced to a blow-my-mind sangria. Created by Molly McNeil, a gal who never ceases to amaze me with her quick wit, this sangria contained bourbon. It added just that perfect little somethin’ somethin’ that made it stand out. And it magically gave the males in the group a free pass to step away from the Fulton crew, to enjoy this bevvy that might otherwise come off as too girlie. Everyone, including myself, raved about it. And rightly so. It rocked!

Sangria in Rosé, Bourbon, and Blue -

This Sangria in Rosé, Bourbon, and Blue is adapted from a drink recipe found in bon appétit. And as soon as I found out from Molly where it came from, I knew exactly the recipe she was talking about. I could picture the article from the magazine, as I had it saved, too. This exact sangria had been “on my list” of new recipes to try. And I could have kissed Molly for mixing it up for us! She added her own little touches (eliminated the tea, added rosemary and peaches), and it was completely wonderful.

Sangria in Rosé, Bourbon, and Blue -

Molly’s addition of rosemary made me swoon, and there’s no way I’ll ever make this sangria without it. But I did make some changes, too. There were some gorgeous sweet dark cherries in the fridge that I couldn’t deny adding, although you can bet that I’ll be slicing up a couple of peaches for this drink when they’re sweet and juicy later this summer. I also added some orange juice and Grand Marnier. And I was curious about the black tea that the original recipe included. So I made it both ways. If you like tea (I do), try it. It’s very good with the bourbon, plus it can help add flavor while stretching out the pitcher, if you’re looking for a sangria that’s a bit more mellow. If you like a fruitier sangria, I would add a favorite fruit juice.

Sangria in Rosé, Bourbon, and Blue

Yield: about 6 cups sangria


  • 1/3 c. super fine sugar
  • 2 c. fresh blueberries, divided
  • 1 c. pitted and halved fresh sweet dark cherries
  • 1 750 mL bottle fruity rosé
  • 2/3 c. freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 2 large oranges)
  • 1/2 c. bourbon
  • 2 T. Grand Marnier
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, about 5'' long
  • 1 lemon, one half squeezed for its juice, the other half sliced thinly
  • optional garnishes: whole cherries, blueberries, lemon slices


In a small bowl with tall sides, combine sugar with 1/3 cup hot water. Using an immersion blender, blitz until sugar dissolves. (Or use a food processor or blender.) Add 1-1/2 cups of the blueberries and blitz again, until blueberries are completely broken up. Set a strainer over a bowl and strain the blueberry mixture, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Pour blueberry liquid into a medium-large pitcher. Cut the remaining 1/2 cup blueberries in half and add to pitcher. Then add cherries, rosé, orange juice, bourbon, Grand Marnier, rosemary, lemon juice, and lemon slices. Stir and place in refrigerator until chilled, about 2 hours.

Fill glasses with ice and pour sangria over the ice. Garnish with additional cherries, blueberries, and lemon slices, if desired.


Adapted greatly from original recipe in bon appétit, with changes from Molly McNeil incorporated.

Here are some other summer sippers you might enjoy: