Red Sangria Popsicles
First off, can I please point out that these fun neon popsicle molds have little STRAWS on the handles of them to sip up any melting popsicle juice? Or in our case, a fun summer adult beverage? It’s practically BEGGING to become a sangria pop. No wine wasted today folks, which is a win in my book. <Slurp.> I got these pops from Giant Eagle, which is my local grocery store around me in Ohio. Any popsicle mold will do, whether it’s a paper cup with a wooden stick or an actual mold. But if you’re not in the Ohio/Pennsylvania area, you can also find them on Amazon here.
This sangria recipe is delicious, and fortunately for you there’s a good amount left over depending on the design and size of your popsicle mold. At the end of the recipe I wrote down a few fun ways to up the ante of your leftover sangria. You know, in case you don’t want to just drink it all by yourself while waiting for the popsicles to freeze. Which I definitely didn't NOT do when I made these the first time.
Have you ever heard of Lillet Blanc? It’s a fortified French Apertif from the south of France that is macerated with the peels of Spanish and Moroccan sweet oranges and bitter green Haitian oranges. From there it’s aged in oak, much like the Bordeaux wines of it’s origin. Most people use Brandy in their sangrias which is the norm but for some reason brandy always reminds me of spiced mulled red wine and I prefer it in the cold winter months to warm me up. I swapped out the traditional brandy for Lillet Blanc in this recipe and here’s why: It’s unexpected, inexpensive, yet it’s flavor profile pairs perfectly with the bitterness of the red wine and the sweetness of the prosecco. It gives the sangria that certain Je ne sais quoi, but it’s accessible to almost everyone. I guarantee you’ve probably passed it a dozen times at the store and never knew it. Plus afterwards you can keep it in the refrigerator and use it for classic historic cocktails like the Vesper or a Corpse Reviver. Which both taste just as dangerous as they sound, Mr. Bond.
I altered the equation of this sangria to make it a little more popsicle friendly, that is I made a simple syrup out of the citrus to give that long-marinated fruit vibe without having to wait hours to marinate before making the popsicles. Plus it alters the water to sugar ratio just enough so that it doesn’t turn into a block of ice upon freezing, ergo also saving the health and stability of your front teeth when biting into it. (Ever the mindful dental professional at heart-you’re all welcome.)
Now this recipe is also quite customizable, too. You can put whatever fruit you want to infuse in it, use whatever red wine you like (Just pick a drier blend, like a Cabernet, Bordeaux or Rioja). If you don’t want to pick up some Lillet from the grocery store (even though it’s rarely more than the cost of a bottle of wine), then that’s fine. Sure, my feelings will be a little hurt, but I’d rather you made the Sangria without Lillet rather than never made it at all. You can omit it completely or replace it with brandy like most traditional sangria recipes call for, I guess we can still be friends. (Just kidding. Call me.)
Red Sangria Popsicles:
Serves: 6-8 popsicles, but varies depending on the size of your mold *See note below for more details
Time: 30 minutes for prep, overnight to freeze
1 C. Granulated white sugar
1 C. Water
1 Slice of rind each from an orange, a lemon and a lime
1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine (like a Rioja or Cabernet)
1 C. Prosecco
¼ C. Lillet (Optional, but very nice)
½ C. Lemon or lime sparkling soda (I like Spindrift brand)
2 Nectarines, pitted and sliced
2 Peaches, pitted and sliced
Make a simple syrup by pouring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar into a small saucepan with a large slice of rind from an orange, lemon and lime. (You’ll use the rest to garnish and put it in your extra sangria later). Warm over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved, but not yet boiling. Remove from heat and set aside to steep and cool. Once cool, strain of all solids and set aside.
In a large pitcher, pour in the red wine, prosecco, lillet blanc, the lemon-lime soda, along with the citrus simple syrup and stir to combine.
In a popsicle mold, place a slice or two of nectarines and peaches into each pop, and pour the sangria in, leaving a little space at the top for when you put the lid/sticks in.
Freeze overnight, and to remove pour warm water over the base for a few seconds to loosen them up. Don’t forget this step since these pops contain alcohol and are more fragile, or else the pop could break on the way out.
BONUS: There will likely be a lot of sangria left over after this (you poor thing), because it obviously depends on how big your individual popsicle molds are. With the extra, slice in some more orange/lemon/lime and any other fresh fruit you like and put them in the pitcher. Let it refrigerate at least one hour, but preferably overnight to let the flavors really develop. From here you can enjoy it while watching some fireworks this Fourth of July, or sitting poolside… whatever floats your boat!
PRO TIP: It’s no fun when your drink gets all diluted from ice in the hot July sun, is it? So think outside the icebox and freeze some of the extra sangria in ice cube trays to add to your glass instead. If you’re feeding a whole popsicle army and there’s not a lot left, making ice cubes is a great option to stretch it too, since it’s both delicious and pretty when dropped in a glass of champagne or rosé. Because far be it for some evil dilush to get in the way of properly enjoying your long weekend.
*And, as always, please responsibly enjoy these sangria pops and whatever other forms of fun and debauchery you have planned this holiday. (Not to sound like the sobering side-effect voiceover in those medication commercials…but better that than like a sad story on the evening news.)
Now, go forth and celebrate my little firecrackers!