Recipe: Mixed Melon & Limoncello Sangria

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

If you’ve ever tasted an ice-cold glass of limoncello on a hot summer day, you know how amazing this Italian liqueur can be. Mixed into a sangria with fresh fruit, it’s quite possibly even better. This sangria is all of summer captured in one delicious pitcher.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

You can make limoncello from scratch with just three simple ingredients: lemons, sugar, and vodka, but if you don’t have time to wait, just pick up a bottle of authentic Italian limoncello when you hit the store for your pinot grigio to make this recipe. Pinot grigio is the perfect wine for this sangria; it complements the limoncello, melon, and mint, bringing all the flavors harmoniously together.

At the market, be sure to check that your melons are ripe — juicy, sweet cantaloupe and honeydew are a must for this sangria! I prefer the flavors and gorgeous results of mixing melons, but you can make this sangria with straight cantaloupe or straight honeydew if one or the other looks especially good.

Grab a handful of fresh mint, your wine opener, and a long spoon, and you’re ready to stir up a batch!

Tester’s Notes

If you’ve got a couple of melons around for fruit salad, there’s no reason you can’t make this easy sangria! It’s a nice change from a more traditional citrus-based sangria, but there’s still some limoncello in there for some zing. Don’t forget the mint, as it adds vibrant color and nice, herbal flavors.

Christine, July 2015

Mixed Melon & Limoncello Sangria

Serves 4

3/4 cup limoncello, chilled
8 to 10 mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
1 cup cantaloupe cubes
1 cup honeydew melon cubes
1 750-ml bottle pinot grigio, chilled

In a pitcher, combine the limoncello and mint. Use a long wooden spoon to gently bruise the mint. Add both melons and stir to combine, lightly pressing the melons as you stir. Add the pinot grigio.

Cover and chill the sangria until ready to serve, at least an hour or overnight. Serve in glasses filled with ice, making sure to scoop some of the melon into each glass, and garnish with mint sprigs.