Elderflower Sangria


A good sangria is a special summer delight. Too often, however, they are overly sugary concoctions, the kind that makes you sick rather than delightfully sated. The use of sharp, tangy wine, heavily sweetened juice or pop, and indiscriminate marriages of post-ripe fruits sounds more like a cheap cocktail than a divine elixir.

I’m a big fan of using what you have to make wonderful surprises when you’re cooking. But a sangria is not a stew. Let us build and layer flavours that complement and contrast each other until you’ve got a fruit blend worth macerating in advance of company arriving. 

Instead of mixing wine with juice, hard liquor, simple syrup, ginger ale or soda, I went for two simple liquid ingredients: elderflower liquor and sweet sparkling wine. Almost more like an elderflower cocktail than a sangria. Infusing the fruit in advance, however, means that it takes on enough essence and booziness to transform it into the kind of chunky, alcohol-laden bits one expects to find at the bottom of a glass of sangria. 

Layer your fruit a day ahead to soak up the liquor.

Cape Gooseberries have a unique flavour and a hearty texture that make them worthy of fishing out of your glass (with a spoon!) when the drink is drunk. They are only slightly smaller than the grapes. I tried cutting them, but they released too many seeds for my liking. I settled for giving them a pinch or a squish with the back of a spoon before dropping them into the pitcher.

Yellow kiwis are a favourite of mine too, because the flavour is light without being citrusy or floral – it has its own unique taste, with that lovely firm texture. It lacks that sharp acidic bite that is sometimes overwhelming in green kiwi. Perfect for soaking up a little extra flavour from the elderflower liquor. 

Fruit is the hero in this gentle concoction.

Eldflower liquor is sometimes looked down on as “the bartender’s ketchup” or “the poor man’s vanilla”, but such snobbery is irrelevant for a crowd-pleasing punch. I especially love that it gently enhances and underscores the fruit, which is still the hero of the day. Or night. 

Light & breezy summer sangria.

Enjoy the easiest ever white sangria! 

Elderflower Sangria with Cape Gooseberries, Golden Kiwi & Green Grapes

A super-simple, make-ahead recipe for white sangria with only three ingredients: fruit, sparkling wine, and elderflower liqueur. Featuring Cape gooseberries & golden kiwi.
Prep Time: 1 day
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: #capegooseberries, #goldenkiwi, #sangria, #sparklingrosé, #sparklingwine, #summersangria, #summervibes, #whitesangria, Summertime
Servings: 6 people


  • Pitcher
  • Mason jar
  • Potato masher


  • ½  cup Cape Gooseberries, husked and rinsed (100g)
  • ½  cup green grapes, de-stemmed and rinsed (100 grams)
  • 1 bottle elderflower liqueur (200 mL)
  • 1 bottle sparkling white or rosé wine


  • Place the grapes and Cape Gooseberries in a bowl and mash them with a potato masher. You want them slightly crushed, not a bowl of fruity mush. If there are any outliers, feel free to pop them with your fingers, like you would bubble wrap.
  • Add peeled and chopped golden kiwis, cuttign them about the same size as the grapes and gooseberries.
  • Pour the fruit and their juices into a mason jar or other container. 
  • Cover with elderflower liquor and shake well. Place in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours. 
  • Pour in a jug. Add sparkling wine or prosecco, taking care not to stir too hard. iPour into ice-filled glasses and top with a Cape Goosberry with the husk pulled up but not detached.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Tea sommelier, love to cook AND bake. Soups are my go-to comfort food and I rely on an excess of garlic in almost everything but dessert. I review Canadian cookbooks for those who want to know which to gift or buy for your own collection.

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