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Beat the Heat with a Sangria Slushie

Ancient Romans started doctoring their water with wine, fruit and spices to make proto-sangria as early as 200 B.C.E., but sangria slushies are a thoroughly modern invention. Like frosé, frozen sangria slushies are a blended cocktail made of wine, fruit and ice, with infinite possibilities for customization.

The primary ingredient is wine, so choose your bottle with care.

“The wine dictates the flavor of the sangria,” says Tamika Hall, author of Black Mixcellence and a community programming manager. “Personally, I like to make my sangria with a light, fruity Rioja…For me, the Rioja complements the flavor of the fruit.”

Zohna Jones, a cocktail curator, wine influencer and educator, reaches for Merlots and Pinot Noirs when she wants to make a light, fruity sangria, and Cabernet Sauvignon when she’s craving a richer, heavier drink. All will work, she says, it simply depends on your palate and predilections.

Price is another consideration. While you want to like the taste of the wine in your sangria slushie, you will be adding ice, fruit and juices, so this isn’t the time to break out a bottle with a lot of financial or sentimental value.

“I like to go for a bottle that’s the perfect mix of quality without breaking the bank, since it’s just used as a base,” says Jones.

As with any frozen drink, dilution is a major factor to consider.

“With a standard cocktail, you strain out the ice after shaking or stirring,” says Nathan Canan-Zucker, a bartender at Gin Lane Bar at Barr Hill Distillery, “but with a frozen cocktail the ice is blended in with it, meaning more dilution in the finished cocktail. This can easily create a frozen drink that tastes too thin or watery.”

You can counteract the effects of dilution by forgoing ice altogether. Opt for frozen berries over fresh fruit, and, the day before you plan to serve your sangria slushie, pour the wine into ice cube trays or other freezer-safe containers and freeze it overnight.

When it comes time to mix your sangria slushie in the blender, plan to serve immediately.

“The beauty of batching is that you can prepare everything ahead of time and just add it to the blender whenever you need another round,” says Canan-Zucker. “They’re great for entertaining because most of the work can be done ahead of time before guests arrive, and then you’re not stuck shaking cocktails all night.” 

How to Make Sangria Slushies

Not a blueberry fan? Swap in equal amounts of frozen raspberries or frozen pomegranate juice.

While freshly squeezed lemon is key, orange juice straight from the carton works beautifully here.


1 750 ml bottle dry red wine
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from approximately 2 lemons)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup frozen blueberries
Orange slices, for garnish (optional)


Pour one 750-ml bottle of dry red wine into 1-2 shallow, freezer-safe containers. Freeze at least six hours or overnight.

Wine being poured into a container to be frozen
Wine being poured into a container/ Photo by Caitlin Bensel

Combine sugar and water to make 2/3 cup simple syrup. Let cool. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a small bowl.

lemon juice being mixed into a simple syrup
Lemon juice being mixed into a simple syrup / Photo by Caitlin Bensel

In a blender, combine frozen wine, simple syrup, orange and lemon juices, and frozen blueberries. Liquefy until smooth. Serve immediately in chilled rocks glasses and garnish with half orange wheel, if using.

sangria slushie in a blender
Sangria slushie in a blender / Photo by Caitlin Bensel