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Mamacita’s Sangria from Voyager

Mamacita’s Sangria from Voyager


“Have you ever drunk sangria, Mrs. Fraser?”

I opened my mouth to say “Yes,” thought better of it, and said, “No, what is it?” Sangria had been a popular drink in the 1960s, and I had had it many times at faculty parties and hospital social events.  But for now, I was sure that it was unknown in England and Scotland; Mrs. Fraser of Edinburgh would never have heard of sangria.

“A mixture of red wine and the juices of orange and lemon,” Lawrence Stern was explaining.  “Mulled with spices, and served hot or cold, depending on the weather.  A most comforting and healthful beverage, is it not, Fogden?”

Diana Gabaldon, Voyager (Chapter 50 – I Meet a Priest)

Comforting, indeed! (Says the food writer with a goblet full of the stuff stationed right next to her mouse.)

Inspiring too!  My new favourite scientific study found that tipsy people are more creative.

It’s staying this side of tipsy that can be the problem…especially when your host plops down a huge pitcher full of citrus-flavoured, red-wine punch laced with brandy.

Just ask Father Fogden and the hobgoblin he keeps for company, Coco the Coconut.

I’m not touching the sheep skulls for all the sangria in Spain, Portugal and Argentina combined.


A dry red is a good, safe choice for Sangria.

I took a chance and went a little on the sweeter side with this mid-priced bottle of Spanish red, and really enjoyed the results.  I’m not in love with the label, but Beso de Vino gets top scores for taste and value.

Mr. Stern describes sangria as mulled.  Sangria has always been a summertime patio drink with some tapas for me, so it’s never occurred to me to mull it.  Mulling adds richness and taste — which could be verra good around the winter holidays — but I wanted to keep this version on the light side.  We’ll mull another batch as the weather cools down, I promise.

If you’ve never had sangria, proceed with caution.  The brandy in sangria can sneak up on you very quickly, and it can have you senseless before your second glass if you don’t watch it.

Mamacita doesn’t strike me as one to tiptoe around a hangover, if you know what I mean.


(Click on the link below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Mamacita’s Sangria from Voyager

: Refreshing and delicious.

Serves 2-4

  • Red Wine – 1 bottle (25 oz/750 ml)
  • Brandy, Triple Sec or Grand Marnier – 2 oz (1/4 Cup)
  • Sugar – 2 to 4 Tble
  • Lemon, sliced – ½
  • Orange, sliced – ½
  • Lime, sliced – ½
  • Soda Water/Sparkling Water (optional)

Pour the brandy in a pitcher, add 2 tablespoons sugar and stir well to dissolve.  Add the wine, stir again, then add the sliced fruit.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 1 day, before serving.  Taste and add more sugar if you think it needs it.  Serve in wine glasses or tumblers with club soda/sparkling water if desired.


  • I stayed true and used only citrus fruits, as Lawrence Stern described.  But apples, melon, mango, grapes and kiwi all add wonderful flavour.


  1. Wendy Cunningham McGuinn
    September 17, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Yummy! I like it for a summer refreshment as well but I will definitely mull it for fall. I think it will be awesome after a hay ride/pumpkin patch outing.

    • Theresa
      September 17, 2012 at 8:57 am

      That sounds like the perfect post hayride drink, Wendy!

  2. Michelle Bennetts Heumann
    September 17, 2012 at 5:34 am

    I put rum and fresh-squeezed citrus juice in mine…it’s the BEST drink ever. Wards off scurvy and keeps you happy. 🙂

    • Theresa
      September 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

      Scurvy free for life! Thank goodness sangria is a healthful drink…:D

  3. Marissa
    September 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

    You’ve become one of my “go-to” sites for recipes – everything is lovely. I’m looking forward to your mulled version of sangria. I live in Wisconsin, so it’s about to get cold and I always have brandy on hand. 🙂

    • Theresa
      September 17, 2012 at 8:55 am

      That makes me so happy to read that, Marissa!

  4. Denise Twist
    September 17, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I use a recipe that uses a cup each of gin and brandy, lemon, orange and cinnamon stick and a bottle of Spanish wine. Oh, and sugar, of course! It’s incredibly strong so yes, staying this side of tipsy is really difficult, not least because it’s so deliciously drinkable! I’m all for doing my part to ward off scurvy!

    • Theresa
      September 17, 2012 at 8:54 am

      Denise — that sounds delicious…and fully leaded! Holy cow…I need to come over to your place. Theresa

  5. Marlen Toch-Marquardt
    September 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Sounds sooo yummmy!!!

    For early summer pleasure I really love to add fresh strawberries…right before I drink it…in my usually ready made Sangria!
    I so have to try to make it myself now 🙂

    • Theresa
      September 18, 2012 at 10:01 am

      It can only be better with homemade sangria, Marlen! Strawberries add colour and taste…great idea.

  6. Heather
    September 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I follow a very similar recipe, but to get a more intense flavor, I heat the brandy to dissolve the sugar and add a cinnamon stick or other spices, then cool and add to the wine for cold sangria.

    • Theresa
      September 18, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Great tip, Heather!

  7. bullrem
    September 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Another HIT Theresa, for sure. I will put the purple passon recipe back in the box. Helen in Ark

  8. denizb33
    September 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Wait a second… I have all of these ingredients! Except for the alcohol – I left both bottles at work! Darn it!

    • Theresa
      September 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      oh, the humanity! Never leave the booze behind…that would be considered a crime in these here parts.

  9. Connie Barlow
    September 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    This is the best Mamacita’s Sangria recipe, It packs a wallop!

    • Theresa
      September 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Keep on sipping, Connie!

  10. Laurie M
    September 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you, Mamacita and Theresa. I’ve made a batch with “The Gnome Knows” red wine and added some raspberries to the citrus. Yum.

    • Theresa
      September 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Our pleasure, Laurie! Well, mine at least. Mamacita wasn’t the friendliest of hostesses…but I’m sure she’d never begrudge anyone a drink. 😉

  11. Grandes Vinos y Viñedos
    October 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Very nice and lovely post. We are pleasured to see how people enjoy Beso de Vino.

  12. Chris bent
    May 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I just made this! Oh boy…I think I got a buzz from just taste testing! I added more Brandy than I should of so I went into recovery mode. To your recipe I added a bottle of Spumante, more sugar ( maybe a 1/4 c), and Peach Schnapps! I used a high end Cab and Remy Martin brandy. (Because it’s what we had in the cabinet!). I posted a picture on FB, now everyone’s inviting themselves over!

  13. Clare Hoover
    August 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Oh WOW! Was just thinking about drinks (other then Whisky) for premiere party. I just so happen to have all the ingredents :/ This is perfect for a steamy hot night 😉
    I’ll post pics too
    Thanks, Theresa your the Best ❤

    • Theresa
      August 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      That calls for a huge SQUEEE!

  14. Sooz
    August 6, 2014 at 9:13 am

    This will be served at my own Clan Gathering this Saturday night for a viewing party. Good times! Good story! Good drinks!

    • Theresa
      August 6, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Slainte, Mhath, Sooz!

  15. Kimberly
    October 26, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I’m going to have to try this. I haven’t had good sangria since I lived in Southern Spain.

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