Easy Sangria recipe makes the perfect beverage to serve at a gathering on a hot summer night. Made with red wine soaked in fruit, this recipe is made even more flavorful and thirst quenching with the addition of sweet tea, lemonade, and Limoncello.
Having a summer get together? It’s finally summertime, you’re having guests over for a nice outside gathering, and you’re not sure what to make for a crowd. Maybe you want to serve an adult drink that is pleasing to everyone without too much fuss. And you don’t want to be away from your guests playing bartender all night.
Nothing says ‘best beverage to drink’ on a hot summer night than this easy Sangria recipe made with sweet tea and Limoncello. I love red wine, but when it’s really hot out, a plain glass of red wine is just not that refreshing. So I make a pitcher (or two) of Sweet Tea Sangria for everyone. Perfect!
What is Sangria?
This recipe is a little twist on the traditional Spanish Sangria. The traditional Sangria contains red table wine, nothing too high end here, chopped fruit and spices. Sugar is added and sometimes another liquor such as brandy. Some versions are cut with carbonated soda, water or orange juice. All of these ingredients can vary to your own personal taste.
Sangria comes from the Spanish word for blood, sangre, referring to its dark red color. Historians believe it originated with the Romans who practiced adding wine to their drinking water in order to sanitize it. They brought this tradition with them as they expanded the Roman Empire to the Iberian Peninsula, which today is Spain and Portugal.
And then there is the American version of Sangria. Many stories credit a variety drinks being introduced to Americans at the Worlds Fair and it seems iced tea and Sangria are no different. Iced tea was introduced at the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair while sangria was introduced at the 1964 New York Worlds Fair.
So here I’ve combined the two, iced tea and Sangria. But instead of the brandy, I’ve added Limoncello. I first discovered the Italian lemon liqueur while on a trip to Italy. We brought some home and decided to try it in the Sangria. Turns out it was awesome!
Making Sangria with Tea
Many people don’t realize you can cook with tea. Remember, tea is essentially an herb. Most of the time we infuse the leaf in water and then drink it, but you can also infuse the leaf into foods or other beverages. You can add tea to many beverages like my superfruit mango peach tea smoothie.
The Sangria will not taste like tea. You are just using tea in place of soda or juice. The tea will accentuate the fruit flavors. Much like the addition of lemon juice enhances the flavor of a peach or raspberry iced tea.
You could always use a tea with a stronger flavor profile than the Blue Mountain Nilgiri tea that I use here. I think any strong black tea would balance well with the fruit in this recipe. I’m thinking an English Breakfast tea would also work very nicely here.
Why Add Limoncello?
Limoncello is very popular in Southern Italy. It’s everywhere! Just look at the size of the lemons we saw in Positano and I think you can see why they put them to good use. They make lemon everything.
You can buy Limoncello in the liquor stores but all the ones I’ve found here in the states use an artificial lemon flavor. It’s just not the same. The Italians just know how to make everything taste better! They have a passion for real food and for doing things well. You just can’t beat that combination.
I have a traditional Italian Limoncello recipe that I will share in a future post. It’s so easy. Mixing the bottled Limoncello with this easy Sangria recipe just gives a nice little kick since you’re basically making a cocktail punch out of the wine. And the homemade lemonade makes up for the artificial lemon flavor in most bottled Limoncello.
Simple Secrets of This Easy Sangria Recipe
The secret to getting a really nice flavor is to allow the ingredients to infuse together overnight in the refrigerator. Most Sangria recipes add a sweetener of some type, sugar or honey. But since the sweet tea and the lemonade are already sweetened you don’t need anymore.
If you don’t have sweet tea or homemade lemonade on hand you can always simply add my ready-to-drink tea and lemonade. I make it just like homemade before bottling. Four cups (two bottles) of MaryAnna’s Tea & Lemonade and you’re good to go!
Just a little background information for you. MaryAnna’s Tea & Lemonade won third place in the 2013 and 2014 North American Iced Tea Championships for best flavored black tea. You don’t have to worry about artificial lemon flavor here! It’s made with 100% lemon juice.
Easy Sangria Recipe with Sweet Tea & Limoncello
This recipe made with red wine soaked in fruit is made even more flavorful and thirst quenching with the addition of sweet tea, lemonade, and Limoncello.
- 3 cups water
- 3 tsp black loose tea
- 6 tsp pure cane sugar
- 3 cups red table wine (750 ml or 1 bottle)
- 1 cup lemonade (homemade is best)
- 1 cup Limoncello (Italian lemon liquer)
- 1 orange diced
- 1 lemon diced
- 1 pint strawberries hulled & quartered
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add black loose tea.
Remove from heat and steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain tea.
Add sugar and stir to dissolve while tea is warm. Set aside to cool.
Add lemon, strawberries, and oranges to a pitcher.
Pour red wine over fruit and stir.
Add lemonade, Limoncello, and sweet tea and stir together.
Refrigerate 2-4 hours or overnight.
Pour over ice into glasses.
Contains resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine and in the skin of grapes. Antioxidants are known to improve overall health.
A good source of thiamin, folate, and potassium, and a very good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant.
They are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, and also contain decent amounts of folate (B9) and potassium.
Strawberries are very rich in antioxidants and plant compounds and may have benefits for heart health and blood sugar control.
Another excellent source of vitamin C, soluble fibers, and plant compounds, all of which can provide health benefits.
Lemons may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, help protect against anemia and prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Unlike animals, humans do not produce their own vitamin C. We need to take in a sufficient amount of vitamin C to keep our immune system running properly. The stress of illness requires an even higher amount of vitamin C intake to boost our immune system.
Tea is high in polyphenols, a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants have proven health benefits to cardiovascular health.
Black tea contains an amino acid called l-theanine, which is unique to tea and has some very interesting effects on the brain. L-theanine increases alpha brain waves inducing a calm and deeply relaxed state. Combined with the caffeine, which is about half the amount found in coffee, the overall effect is a focused calm.
You can read more about the health benefits of tea in the Top 10 Health Benefits of Tea.
Drink to Your Health
There are many interpretations of an easy Sangria recipe and this is my version for all you Sangria lovers out there. And yes I will find a way to incorporate tea into just about any drink!
Enjoy this recipe with friends and your favorite summer dishes. If you do try it, please leave a comment so others know how much you loved it.
Salud dear tea friends!