This paleo sangria is just like an authentic Spanish-style sangria but made with healthier ingredients. It’s sweet, strong, and delicious, just like a paleo sangria should be! You’ll love this paleo sangria because it’s so easy to make ahead and only takes a few minutes to prepare, but it’ll become an absolute favorite with your friends. But be warned: this paleo sangria can be strong!
I’m actually in Spain, I thought to myself, pulling my feet, pretzled in the metal chair, a bit closer in. I hadn’t expected it to be quite so chilly and so I’d chosen the wrong shoes, still mostly dazed from a sleepless transatlantic flight with a toddler. That always necessary mid-afternoon nap to catch up on what we’d missed in the sky was doing me well, but you can only siesta so far into sanity.
I took a photo, a poorly posed, poorly lit photo to share with my friends when I got back to the apartment. I’m actually in Spain, and I’m drinking sangria in Spain.
There was something of an immediate feeling of having returned home the moment the plane landed. O and I, we’ve always planned to move to Spain one day, the country being his absolute favorite from his travels. And from everything I knew about it, I thought I’d love it, too! But I’d always opted for France and Italy when European travels became options.
Even in college, studying in Paris in a packed student dorm, I skipped the quick trips to Ibiza to stay in Paris and just love it there. But looking back? I was missing out on finding home years and years ahead.
And at that point, the moment with the chilled toes on the street in our neighborhood, sipping strong but sweet sangria and making faces at Leo in his tiny travel stroller, I still had no idea. I hadn’t been yet absorbed the architecture, the feeling of being and doing whatever it is that’s you, hadn’t been received–us with Leo–so graciously by the Spanish, going out of their way to make it easier for me to simply be a parent.
No, at that point, it was all Barcelonian airports and eclectic apartments that smelled of wood and cinnamon and IKEA. It was how my shitty Spanish was received graciously and with enthusiasm, and it was the tiny café with the little matcha lattes and Spanish pastries next door. The rest came later, pushing me deeper and deeper into my love affair with the forgotten European country in between Portugal and France, with promises of quick trips to the islands, to Morocco, to the place where they literally film the castle of the Mother of Dragons in Game of Thrones.
To oversimplify things drastically, nothing is more España than a stout, sweet sangria. It’s easy and fun and delicious and full of flavor, something you want to drink almost always, all the time. When we visited last year with my parents, we sipped on glasses of the stuff at all hours, starting with a pitcher at lunch, breaking for a glass in the afternoon, and resuming at our late-night dinners. In fact, it was the first photo I took when we arrived in Barcelona, a stemmed glass full of the near-purple liquid overlooking the calle mayor near our apartment, ornamented with boozy fruit.
So I consider myself something of a true Spanish-style paleo sangria connoisseur: sangria should be strong but sweet, full of fruit. The thing, though? Sangria is usually loaded with white sugar. We give it all a pass on vacation, but to feel good about stirring together a batch at home? I had to swap out the ingredients that don’t jive with our mostly paleo diet for healthier ingredients that keep the taste totally authentic.
This paleo Sangria is so easy to whip together in advance and pull out in time for the party: Sangria hero! I made a couple batches for my mother’s 60th birthday party, and we drained it fast. We drained it fast, and we had the giggles and hiccups to show for it, but it’d done its job as a proper Spanish paleo sangria: strong, sweet, easy to drink, packs a punch.
You’ll absolutely love this paleo sangria because it’s so easy and delicious, plenty boozy and made with healthier ingredients. Perfect for late summer get togethers or as we ease into the crisper fall nights!
To make this paleo sangria, I used…
Paleo Sangria (Spanish Style)
- In a small bowl, whisk together honey and warm water until smooth. Pour contents of bottle of wine into a large pitcher and stir honey mixture into wine. Pour in brandy and stir in fruit. Cover and let steep for at least 2 hours, preferably longer.
- When ready to serve, use a wooden spoon to lightly crush fruit. Then add in sparkling water until desired taste is reached. Pour into serving glasses and include fruit!