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Thursday, February 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 27° Clear

Dorothy Dean presents: Light and crisp Watermelon Sangria is a summer must

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

I love the endless days of sunshine here, the last week or so notwithstanding, especially coming from Alaska, where summers are hit or miss and studded with days of clouds and rain. Here our backyard is constantly filled with kids jumping through the sprinkler, Popsicle wrappers strewn about and the smoky aroma of food on the grill.

When taking in all the fun in the sun, a refreshing drink is a must, and nothing’s easier than pulling a pitcher from the fridge of a ready-made cocktail that just needs to be poured. This summertime twist on sangria, a Spanish punch traditionally made with red wine, fruit, juice and brandy, is light and crisp with fresh watermelon flavor.

It’s great when entertaining a crowd and couldn’t be simpler to make. Cubed watermelon is blended until smooth and strained into a pitcher. White wine, vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, lime and fruit (watermelon, strawberries and blueberries) are stirred into the concoction. The sangria is chilled for at least 2 hours and served over ice.

To add fizz, it can be topped off with lemon-lime soda or ginger ale. While a lighter, sweet white wine works well for this, feel free to use your favorite. Flavored vodka also can be used, and additional fruit, including peaches, mangoes and pineapples, can be switched out or added.

Watermelon Sangria also can be made into the ultimate summer adult treat: booze pops. Just pour the mixture into popsicles molds, freeze and enjoy.

Watermelon Sangria

Adapted from

4 cups seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed, plus additional 2 cups diced for serving

1 bottle white wine (moscato, rosé or pinot grigio are great options for flavor)

1 cup vodka

1/2 cup triple sec liqueur

1/2 cup simple syrup or to taste

1 medium lime, thinly sliced

1 cup strawberries, sliced

1 cup blueberries


Lemon lime soda or ginger ale, optional

Purée watermelon cubes in a blender until smooth and pour through a fine strainer into a pitcher. Add the white wine, vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, lime, diced watermelon, strawberry slices and blueberries. Stir and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. To serve, stir and pour into ice-filled wine glasses. If you’d like it a bit bubbly, top with lemon-lime soda or ginger ale.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at

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