Last Updated on April 28, 2021 by laurenpacek
Cheerwine Sangria is everything you never knew you wanted in a sangria!
This Cheerwine Sangria is just what you want on a hot Summer day. Sweet, cherry-flavored Cheerwine is the perfect addition to a pitcher of fruity sangria.
Best yet? This recipe makes a big batch of the good stuff!
What inspired this sangria?
I first had Cheerwine Sangria while eating dinner at Mateo, a tapas restaurant in Durham, NC. It's one of my and Sean's favorite restaurants. If you're ever in the area, please do yourself a favor and grab dinner there. Make a reservation.
Alton Brown took a crack at recreating Mateo's sangria after his tour passed through the area in 2016. While his rendition is certainly delicious, I wanted to put my own spin on it. I think that this recipe comes pretty dang close to what's served in the restaurant.
What is Cheerwine, anyway?
Cheerwine is a cherry-flavored soft drink made in North Carolina. It's available throughout the Southeast United States, but is best known in the Carolinas and Virginia. If you can't find it in your local grocery store, please consider ordering some online.
In short: it's delicious and is just begging to be used in sangria.
What ingredients does this sangria require?
You'll want to start with a bottle of red wine. For this recipe, I recommend a Spanish wine, like Rioja. It doesn't have to be super fancy or expensive. Just make sure that it's something that you would enjoy drinking on its own.
If you're like me and love wine and don't want to leave the house to get it, look into Firstleaf. Basically, you take a short quiz to identify your wine preferences. Then Firstleaf puts together a custom order for you and ships it to your house (or wherever you'd like).
You'll want to add some triple sec and dark rum, too. Pretty standard stuff. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur really amps up the cherry flavor and aroma of this sangria. If you've seen my Homemade Luxardo Cherries, you're familiar with this liqueur.
You'll also use some fresh fruit, like cherries, orange slices, and chopped Granny Smith apples, along with several large sprigs of fresh basil.
And then there's the Cheerwine (duh).
How do you make this sangria?
It's very easy!
Put the fresh fruit and basil in the bottom of a pitcher. Top them with the wine, liquor, and liqueurs. Allow it to chill in the fridge overnight. This will allow the flavors to really meld together.
When you're ready to drink, remove the old basil, and top everything with Cheerwine (duh)! Garnish your glass with some more fresh basil (the aroma when you go to take a sip is really great) and go to town!
- Combine the wine, triple sec, Maraschino liqueur, dark rum, fresh fruit, and sprigs of basil in a pitcher. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the basil and discard.
- Add the Cheerwine and stir gently.
- Pour into glasses over ice and garnish with more fresh basil.
You can order your alcohol online via Drizly and have it delivered to your door!
Need any special equipment?
Looking for other recipes?
These Kalimotxo Cocktails also use Rioja wine.
If you want more cherry-forward recipes, give these a try: