Sweet, fruity, refreshing – this Ginger Lychee Sangria Blanca is made with Pinot Grigio white wine mixed with lychee, ginger, lemon and lime, lychee juice, plus elderflower syrup and vodka!
An ice-cold, boozy drink with an explosion of flavors, perfect for hot summer days and evenings!
As an avid oenophile, a sangria is my drink of choice come summer! A perfectly refreshing, sweet, fruity, boozy drink to cool off on a hot summer day/evening? That’s an easy choice!
Because sangria is traditionally made with red wine, white wine doesn’t get the shout out that it deserves as a great option for sangria. And that’s understandable, given that the word sangria actually derives from the word sangre, meaning blood. But sangria made with white wine (which is called Sangria Blanca) is deliciously refreshing too!
So can I make sangria with any kind of wine?
Sangria is best made with a Spanish wine. But if you can’t get your hands on a good Spanish wine, you can use a red wine that’s dry but fruity. A good-quality merlot or pinot noir would be excellent.
The best kind of wine for a sangria blanca is also a dry but fruity, white wine. Personally, I prefer a dry riesling (riesling can be either dry or sweet), but a pinot grigio is perfect too!
For this Ginger Lychee Sangria Blanca, I chose a pinot grigio that had notes apples and pears. This pinot grigio sangria blanca was mixed with fresh lychee, ginger, lemon and lime, lychee juice, plus elderflower syrup and vodka (or gin). Alternatively, you can use St. Germain liqueur (which is an elderflower liqueur) in place of the elder flower syrup and vodka. It’s an explosion of refreshing fruity flavors, along with a hint of spice and warmth from the ginger!
This ginger lychee sangria blanca is a fantastic twist on a classic sangria. And it’s the perfect, ice-cold, sweet, fruity, refreshing drink for these hot summer days! I especially love how the fresh lychee in this sangria blanca gets infused with the ginger!
Do I need fresh lychee to make this ginger lychee sangria blanca?
Not at all. You can absolutely use canned lychee. It’ll certainly be cheaper too.
However, if you’re making this pinot grigio sangria blanca with fresh lychee, then make sure to get perfectly ripe and sweet lychee. Choose lychee that are bright red, with no bruises or black spots on the skin.
I do use lychee juice in this recipe as well, and if you’d like to, you can buy the lychee juice separately as a drink at any Asian grocery store. But if you can’t find lychee juice, you’re more than welcome to use lychee cans. Simply use the canned fruits in the sangria blanca, and use the juices to add as the lychee juice in this recipe.
I used canned lychee for the ginger lychee sangria blanca pictured in this post. The canned lychee actually looked prettier than the fresh lychee that I deseeded! 🙂
This pinot grigio sangria blanca is best served after being chilled overnight. This lets the ginger infuse the sangria thoroughly! If you have access to ginger juice, OR you can juice the ginger yourself, go ahead and add the ginger juice to the sangria blanca too!
While I didn’t need to add any extra sugar to this sangria, you’re welcome to add more sweetness if you prefer. However, don’t add any granulated sugar as it may not dissolve quickly and properly. A good substitute would be simple syrup (made with white sugar or coconut sugar would be OK), or agave syrup. Alternatively, you can add extra lychee juice too.
There’s really no way to mess up this ginger lychee sangria blanca because you can adjust pretty much anything to your taste! 🙂 We’ve been having quite a few tipsy summer days and nights lately, thanks to these sangrias! 😉
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Ginger Lychee Sangria Blanca
- 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled
- 1 can of lychee with juice see notes for fresh lychee substitute
- 1/2 lemon sliced
- 1/2 lime sliced
- 1/2 cup elderflower syrup see notes for substitutions
- 1/2 cup vodka or gin see notes for substitutions
- 1/2 cup lychee juice from the can
- 1 bottle of chilled pinot grigio
- Julienne the piece of ginger into small matchstick-sized pieces. Transfer this ginger into a pitcher or carafe.
- Drain the lychee from the can, and reserve the juices. Set aside the lychee.
- If you're using fresh lychee, pierce the red skin of the lychee and carefully peel it off. Using a knife, slice the lychee flesh length-ways (along the seed) and carefully remove the seed. Discard the seeds, and set aside the lychee flesh.
- Slice the lemon and lime and place them in the pitcher or carafe.
- Add the elderflower syrup and vodka and mix to combine. Using a cocktail muddler, gently muddle the citrus and ginger to release a little of their juices. Don't muddle too much though, since you want to keep the integrity of the lemon and lime slices.
- Add the lychee, 1/2 cup of the lychee juice, and the pinot grigio wine. Mix to combine. Add agave syrup or simple syrup to sweeten - IF necessary.
- Chill for at least 4 hours to let the fruits infuse the sangria blanca. Serve chilled.
Tips & Tricks
- Instead of canned lychee, you can use 20 - 22 fresh lychee, seeds removed, and use 1/2 cup of lychee juice which you can buy separately from an Asian store.
- Instead of the elderflower syrup and vodka, you can use 1 cup of St. Germain liqueur (which is an elderflower liqueur).