Peach White Sangria. Photo for The Washington Post by Tom McCorkle
I'm not much of a boozehound myself, but if I had anything resembling a "house drink," it would probably be sangria. Made in advance, big enough to serve a crowd and crowd-pleasing - there are lots of reasons to take a cue to drink as the Spanish do.

Sprinkling the fruit with sugar draws moisture out of the fruit, softening it. You also end up with a sweet liquid that bathes the fruit. 

That syrup and the fruit exchange flavors, and a lovely balance is met. So when you incorporate the mix into the sangria, you get fruit that is soft enough to pleasantly eat 

It's light, seasonal, pretty and a leading contender for your new signature summer cocktail.


  • 2 ripe peaches, pitted and coarsely chopped, plus more for optional garnish
  • 1 cup raspberries, plus more for optional garnish
  • 3 tablespoons castor sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • One 750ml bottle dry white wine, chilled
  • 1/2 cup brandy (may substitute peach liqueur)
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
  • Sparkling water, for serving

Add the peaches and raspberries to a large pitcher, sprinkle lightly with sugar and stir. Let the fruit begin to break down (macerate) on the counter for 1 hour.
Add the wine, brandy, the 3 tablespoons sugar, mint leaves, if using, and lemon rounds; gently stir to combine.
Fill glasses with ice and evenly divide the sangria. Add a splash of sparkling water. If desired, place fruit on long skewers as a garnish.

Adapted from Sonja and Alex Overhiser at

The Washington Post