Winter Sangria w/ Muddled Arugula

Author: Emily Tidwell

I used to work at an Italian restaurant that had sangria regularly on their menu. The recipe they had was simple. Take the box of premade Franzia Sangria, dump into container, add even more sugar, citrus wedges for authenticity, and serve to guest. Was is tasty? Yeah, kinda, I mean…everyone loves juice, and that’s basically what it was. Boxed juice with a little alcohol content. But it wasn’t real sangria. And I felt terrible serving it to guests. I knew there had to be better out there.

So, I set out on a personal mission to create a real and delicious sangria. It wasn’t until last summer at a cabin in Tahoe that I found the solution, a recipe that truly stood out above the rest. And I found it with the help of an unusual component; arugula.

Yes, dead serious, arugula. It’s bright, it’s bitter, it’s green, and muddled in with your citrus it adds a complexity you never knew was missing but now you arguably cannot live without.

Try it out in this seasonally inspired sangria stewed with grapefruit and apples. You won’t regret it.

Winter Sangria with Muddled Arugula


  • 750ml red wine (Cabernet or Merlot work best)
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 grapefruit, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1/2 cup whole cranberries
  • 1 cup arugula


  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise


  1. Place arugula in base of pitcher. Muddle.
  2. Add remaining components. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Move to fridge and let chill for 2 hours (best if chilled overnight)
  4. Serve in glass with ice and stewed fruit.