Sake Sangria

Not long ago I ran across this Sake Sangria recipe and knew I had to make it! I had some leftover sake from the Korean Skirt Steak with Kimchi Aioli I made recently. It only used a tablespoon of a brand-new bottle. Now I had an almost full bottle and nothing to do with it. Well, nothing special. So why not add some fresh fruit and turn it into Sake Sangria?

A delightful twist on the classic Spanish punch, Sake Sangria combines the delicate flavors of Japanese sake with fresh fruits and a touch of sweetness. A refreshing and light alternative to its wine-based counterpart, this cocktail is perfect for social gatherings and offers a unique fusion of East and West.

Recipe Author: CocktailFlavors.com
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The Ingredients

As I mentioned, I already had a bottle of sake that had barely been touched. It was even one of the preferred brands mentioned in the blog post, Gekkeikan. My liquor cabinet also had a bottle of Gan Gala orange liqueur. I have found it’s not quite as good as Grand Marnier when served on its own, but it’s comparable when used in mixed drinks.

After a little rooting around in my refrigerator found simple syrup and a can of seltzer water. That left only the fresh fruit and optional mint to purchase. I chose cara cara oranges, blackberries, and raspberries.

Sake Sangria Ingredients
Soda water, simple syrup, sake, blackberries, raspberries, cara cara orange, orange liqueur, and mint

The Process

The fruit, simple syrup, and liquors needed to be infused for a minimum of two hours, so this recipe had to be made the day before I planned to serve it. The prep work wasn’t difficult at all!

To get things rolling, I added sake, orange liqueur, and simple syrup to a large pitcher. Next, I sliced an unpeeled cara cara orange in half, and then into thin slices. After that, I measured the orange slices with some blackberries and raspberries for a total of two cups.

Lightly muddled raspberries and blackberries
I lightly muddled the berries before adding them to the pitcher to infuse overnight with the oranges

I noticed slicing the oranges gave them lots of surface area to help infuse their flavor into the liquid. The berries didn’t have that, so I very lightly muddled them in a mixing glass to release some juices before adding them to the pitcher.

The next day, I had to strain out the fruit before serving. I did it in two stages since my fine cocktail strainer is quite small and designed for making a single cocktail. I emptied the bulk of the fruit into a mesh sieve placed over my largest measuring cup (4 cups/32 ounces). There were still some tiny seeds and other solids clouding my sake sangria, so I placed my finer strainer over the opening of the pitcher and strained the sangria back into the pitcher.

Strained sake sangria
After straining there was just shy of 4 cups of liquid

Serving

The recipe says this drink can be served over ice in a wine glass or tumbler. I chose a tall, thin tumbler and added ice, sake sangria, and soda water. I immediately noticed the color was significantly more translucent than the recipe’s photos.

Now, the instructions do say to mix the soda water with the sake sangria in the pitcher, but I added it to the glass to create a gradient. A big part of the appeal of this recipe was the sunset-like fade from clear to yellow to red.

Sake Sangria in a highball glass
Sake Sangria in a highball glass

Next, I switched to a larger stemless wine glass thinking more sake sangria would deepen the red color and create the gradient I was looking for. Unfortunately, I got a similar see-through pink look in it as well.

Then I had an idea! I added a few raspberries to a new glass and lightly muddled them. Then I made the drink on top of them by adding ice cubes, sake sangria, and soda water. This version was closer to the recipe photos and faded from clear to red. No yellow, but it was pretty.

Timing

This recipe listed 10 minutes to prep/total. However, the instructions list a range of 2 hours to overnight for the fruit flavors to infuse the sake mixture. Here’s how my time was spent:

  • 5 minutes to prep
  • 12 hours to infuse
  • 2 minutes to strain
  • 2 minutes to pour and garnish
  • 12 hours 9 minutes total

So how was it?

Clear & Accurate Directions
Accurate Time(s)
Appearance
Taste
I have been a fan of sake and sangria for a long time. I've tried many types of each and wanted very much to love this combination just as much, but it was just okay. It had an initial sweet fruity flavor, and I noticed the dry sake taste right after. Again, I love both of those flavors, but perhaps not together. It took me several thoughtful sips before I concluded that the dry junmai sake was most likely my problem. Although Gekkeikan was my introduction to sake as it is widely served hot at sushi restaurants, I grew to prefer sweet nigori ("cloudy") sake served cold. I had hubby give my sake sangria a try, and he liked it a lot--and he prefers dry sake served hot. I have a feeling this would have been great with my preferred type of sake, and I'm putting it on my list of things I need to re-try with my own twist on them.
Candice
Candicehttps://www.hungrypinner.com
I'm Candice, and I'm The Hungry Pinner. I created this blog to share my love for cooking and my experiences with the MANY recipes I've found on Pinterest over the years. Join me as I blog my way through those recipes to find out if they are worth trying yourself.

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I have been a fan of sake and sangria for a long time. I've tried many types of each and wanted very much to love this combination just as much, but it was just okay. It had an initial sweet fruity flavor, and I noticed the dry sake taste right after. Again, I love both of those flavors, but perhaps not together. It took me several thoughtful sips before I concluded that the dry junmai sake was most likely my problem. Although Gekkeikan was my introduction to sake as it is widely served hot at sushi restaurants, I grew to prefer sweet nigori ("cloudy") sake served cold. I had hubby give my sake sangria a try, and he liked it a lot--and he prefers dry sake served hot. I have a feeling this would have been great with my preferred type of sake, and I'm putting it on my list of things I need to re-try with my own twist on them. Sake Sangria