Deliciously cold summer treats come in many forms, from classic ice cream and milkshakes to snow cones and ice pops. Most adults don’t outgrow the taste for something refreshing and sweet, but when the temperature rises, we may desire something a little more sophisticated than snowballs—and if it has alcohol in it, all the better. There’s a whole word of frozen cocktails to explore, but if your heart belongs to wine, you’ll want to get familiar with frozen sangria slushies, the ideal way to stay cool and relaxed through even the hottest months.
There are two basic ways to make sangria slush:
With a Blender
For near-instant gratification, simply whirl up your wine with frozen fruit and additional ingredients like brandy, citrus juice, and simple syrup. Use well-chilled wine if possible, since that will help the slushy stay cold and, well, slushy. If you want to drink it right away (and who could blame you?) but the texture’s not quite icy enough for your liking, blend in a few ice cubes—it’s just like a smoothie, but with booze! Ice cubes also come in handy if you’re using fresh, unfrozen fruit.
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Any blender will work, but a famously high-powered model will work even faster.
If you’re planning ahead, blend up multiple batches and store them in the freezer (use gallon-size plastic bags for the easiest clean-up and least amount of hassle trying to fit them in among the other frozen food), then take them out a few minutes before you want to serve so they soften up a bit, and squish the bags to help break the sangria slush back down to the proper texture before portioning it into glasses.
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Or freeze individual servings to stash in your cooler or kitchen.
Related Reading: White Claw Slushies Are for All the Hard Seltzer Fans
Without a Blender
If you don’t have a blender, the most convenient route is to mix your wine and other ingredients in a large bowl—to help break down the fruit, use a potato masher, pastry blender, or whatever kitchen tool you have that’s best fit for the job; crushing it with your bare hands will do in a pinch—then pour it all into gallon-size zip-top bags and pop them in the freezer for a few hours until they reach the slushy consistency you’re after. Take them out, squeeze them to break up any large chunks if need be, and portion the sangria into glasses…or don’t. If you’re in the mood for a jumbo-sized, frozen adult Capri Sun of sorts, just stick a straw in there and go to town.
Stasher Silicone Storage Bags, $9.99-$19.99 from The Container Store
These reusable silicone bags are freezer safe.
If you’ve got more time on your hands (and the necessary equipment), try making frozen wine pops too! Both vino delivery systems are delightful, but frozen sangria is definitely a bit more laid-back, and will probably be a repeat guest at all your summer shindigs—and welcomed on plenty of random sweltering Saturday nights too.
Frozen Sangria Recipes
Pick one of these, or invent your own.
This fruity frozen treat combines blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and orange juice with red Moscato and both raspberry- and orange-flavored liqueurs. The freshly blended drink will have a looser texture, so the recipe calls for freezing it to firm it up, but it’ll be just as delicious if you can’t wait (and you can always blend in a few ice cubes to adjust it too). Get the Mixed Berry Sangria Slushies recipe.
If you subscribe to the rosé all day mantra, this is the slushy sangria for you. Rosé, tequila, frozen watermelon, frozen raspberries, lime juice, and honey make for a drink/dessert that’s as gorgeous as it is delicious. Get the Frozen Watermelon Rosé Sangria Slushies recipe.
This sunny sangria slush uses white wine, chunks of frozen pineapple and mango, pineapple and lime juice, and a little ginger liqueur for extra kick, plus a few dashes of bitters to round things out. Paper drink umbrellas are totally optional, but highly recommended. Get the Mango Pineapple Sangria Slush recipe.
These are obviously perfect for your Memorial Day or 4th of July bash. You will need food coloring to achieve the bright blue hue (seek out all-natural food coloring if you prefer), but the red and white are thanks to fruit and wine alone. You can use the same technique with other fruit to create beautiful stratified sangria in various color combos (think a layer of blackberry sangria over a base of peach, or deep pink watermelon-wine slush topping bright green kiwi sangria). Get the Red, White, and Blue Frozen Sangria recipe.
This sprightly frozen sangria has you freeze fresh honeydew melon and kiwis with sweet white wine, rum, and bubbly soda, then blend it all up when you’re ready to drink—but if you want to make bigger batches, you could also chop and freeze a larger quantity of fruit ahead of time, then blend it with the wine and rum, and top each glass off with a splash of soda as you go. Get the Kiwi-Melon Frozen Sangria recipe.
Light white wine and frozen fruit (peach, mango, and strawberries here, but you could try other combos too) meet coconut water, coconut rum, and lime juice for a tropical take on the slushy sangria. The toasted coconut rim and skewered fresh fruit garnishes are great ideas to incorporate into other versions of frozen sangria, too. Get the Tropical Frozen Sangria recipe.
Juicy summer peaches are perfect on their own, but if you inevitably end up with way too many ripe ones to eat at once, freeze them and then blend them with white wine, lime juice, and a little extra sugar if necessary, for a dangerously easy and delicious summer drink. Get the Frozen Peach White Wine Sangria recipe.
Header image courtesy of Alexandra Grablewski / Photodisc / GettyImages