Pineapple Mint Julep Sangria is a fun twist on the traditional mint julep beverage served by the thousands at the Kentucky Derby each spring, and perfectly refreshing all summer long!

2 glasses of pineapple mint julep sangria

I finally found a sangria that my husband and I can agree on. And, yes, I’m pretty excited about that!

This Pineapple Mint Julep Sangria is a fun twist on the traditional mint julep cocktail served by the thousands at the Kentucky Derby race each spring. Actually…Churchill Downs serves almost 120,000 of these sweet drinks over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.

Famous for being served in a frosty pewter cup, it’s a centuries-old tradition of the South. I visited the race track when I was in Louisville many years ago. Unfortunately, I missed the race. But what a grand ol’ place it is. I’d love to be in the stands for a Kentucky Derby some day.

Until that day, though, I’ll be watching from home, a glass of pineapple mint julep sangria in hand. This is the perfect drink for all your summer gatherings…lightly fruity and crisp, and just a bit boozy. Ahhhhh…

glasses of pineapple mint julep sangria

A pineapple mint julep is ultimate refreshment

Blake is not a sangria kind of guy. But I was counting on the pineapple (one of his favorite fruits/juices) and bourbon combination to pull him in with this cocktail.

When I finished perfecting this sangria recipe, I poured some over a glass of crushed ice in true mint julep fashion, and handed it to Blake.

Now I knew this pineapple mint julep sangria was good.

But what would he think of this drink, frilly with garnishments of pineapple wedges and fresh mint leaves?

a glass of pineapple mint julep sangria with fresh pineapple slices

It’s pineapple sangria with a fun twist of mint julep

I was surprised by his immediately positive reaction. He liked it. Alot!

I’m pretty sure it had everything to do with his fondness for pineapple juice.

Memories flooded back about how much fresh pineapple juice he consumed while we were in Mexico. Every morning we ordered room service – a tray filled with fresh fruits, a pot of steaming hot coffee, and four glasses of fresh pineapple juice. It was “our vacation thing”.

pineapple mint julep sangria in a glass

Big batch cocktails are great for entertaining

This sangria’s other redeeming quality, affirmed by Blake, is its splash of bourbon. And I do have to agree. I love the depth that bourbon adds to the glass.

The really wonderful thing about sangria is that it’s meant to be served as a big batch cocktail, which is perfect for entertaining. No mixing single drinks for your guests!

If you’re looking for a red sangria with bourbon, be sure to check out this Sangria in Rosé, Bourbon, and Blue. It’s lovely, too. I especially like to serve it for Memorial Day and 4th of July gatherings.

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pinterest image of two glasses and a large pitcher filled with sangria
a glass of pineapple mint julep sangria

If you like this Pineapple Mint Julep Sangria, you might like:

a glass of pineapple mint julep sangria

Pineapple Mint Julep Sangria

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This cocktail is a fun twist on the traditional mint julep beverage served by the thousands at the Kentucky Derby each spring, and perfectly refreshing all summer long!


for the mint simple syrup:

  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 6 to 8 fresh mint sprigs, rinsed well

for the sangria:

  • 1  750 ml bottle light and crisp white wine, chilled (I used a Pinot Grigio)
  • 3 c. fresh pineapple juice, chilled (I blitzed fresh pineapple chunks in a blender and strained it for juice, but you could also use a good not-from-concentrate pineapple juice)
  • 1 c. mint simple syrup, chilled
  • 1 c. bourbon
  • 1 c. cubed fresh pineapple
  • crushed ice
  • fresh pineapple wedges and mint leaves for garnish


  1. for the mint simple syrup: In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add sugar and whisk until dissolved. Add mint sprigs and continue boiling for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let mint steep for 30 minutes while the syrup cools. Remove mint sprigs with a slotted spoon and discard. Transfer mint simple syrup to a bottle or jar with a top and place in the refrigerator to cool completely. This can be made up to several days in advance of making the sangria. Tip: Make a double batch so you have extra to add to other favorite drinks for minty sweetness...think lemonades and teas and mojitos. I like to keep this hand throughout much of the year, and especially during the summer months.
  2. for the sangria: In a large pitcher, stir together wine, pineapple juice, mint simple syrup, bourbon, and cubed fresh pineapple. Test for flavor and adjust to taste. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This can be made many hours prior to serving. When ready to serve, fill a medium glass with crushed ice and a fresh mint leaf or two. Pour sangria over the ice. Add a fresh pineapple wedge for garnish.


from a farmgirl's dabbles

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 533Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 154mgCarbohydrates: 101gFiber: 3gSugar: 75gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

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(This post was originally published May 2014. Some of the photos and text were updated in 2019.)