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Sangria Series : Sunny’s Skinny Sangria

Ed. Note: Sangria is, by most accounts, a universal crowd-pleaser and almost always a bunch of fun. My personal favorite is the $9 jug of Carlos Rossi and don’t you dare judge me for it. In all seriousness, what’s most interesting about sangria is that everyone has a different recipe and that recipe is usually indicative of his or her preferences and personality. Usually, there’s a story behind the sangria someone made, and in this series I set out to uncover those stories.

Over the past three months, maybe more, I’ve chatted with some interesting people about their recipes and now, right before we say goodbye to summer, I’m sharing their stories with you. Enjoy!


“I don’t really like sweet sangria.” That was Alexandria ‘Sunny’ McGaughey’s confession when I stopped by her house to chat about her recipe. Possessing a style that’s both effortless and personal, she’s easily one of my favorite fashion bloggers – and she makes damn good sangria.

Instead of sugary drinks Sunny prefers to taste the true flavors of her spirits. Her sangria is a reflection of those preferences, a mix of Tempranillo because she enjoys heavy bold wines, refreshing Cava instead of brandy – which tends to be too sweet for her taste, coconut nectar instead of simple syrup, blackberries, lime, and orange juice – because Sangria should have citrus in it, Sunny says.

The result was a refreshing drink with all flavors present and at attention. I don’t think I’d ever had sangria with only natural sugars and in a way it reminded me of a skinny margarita.

“Everybody likes sangria in a different way,” she said. For Sunny, it’s matter a matter of unmasking the true flavors that simple syrup and juice tend to hide. “I want to actually taste the wine and the champagne,” she says.

If you’re like Sunny and want a flavorful sangria minus all of the sugar, check out her recipe below:

1 bottle of Tempranillo

1/2 bottle of Cava or champagne

2 pours of coconut nectar or agave

A handful of muddled blackberries

Half a lime, squeezed

A whole orange, squeezed

Half an orange, sliced

Throw in another handful of blackberries for good measure – and don’t muddle.

For more musings and fashions, check out Sunny’s blog, From Sunny, With Love.



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