The Ultimate Dinner Party Drink: Sangria Shrub Punch

published Sep 18, 2021
Sangria Shrub Punch Recipe

A simple homemade grapefruit shrub is the base of this refreshing and spritzy pitcher cocktail.

Serves6 to 8

Prep10 minutes to 15 minutes

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glasses of sangria on tray
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner; Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

This bubbly pitcher cocktail, featuring sweet-tart grapefruit and herby rosemary, is the ultimate kickoff to a dinner party with your favorite people. Serving drinks from a pitcher frees you from having to shake up individual drinks, which is a major win when you have your hands busy pulling together the rest of the meal. You’ve been warned, though: This tangy, ultra-refreshing punch goes down easy, so you just might want to have a second batch on hand for thirsty guests.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner; Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

A Make-Ahead Punch That’s Worthy of a Celebration

All dinner parties, no matter the size, should start with a special drink — and this one is always a winner. The base is a shrub (also known as drinking vinegar), which is simply vinegar flavored with fruit and sweetened with sugar. Here, you’ll mix grapefruit-rosemary sugar with chunks of the grapefruit, let it infuse overnight, then stir in apple cider vinegar. Just before serving, add sparkling wine — or sparkling water to make it a non-alcoholic drink — which tames the shrub’s bite and turns this into a bubbly, celebratory drink. And while it’s hardly a traditional sangria, the wine and fruit are a nod to the crowd-pleasing drink.

What’s even better is the shrub can be made well in advance of your gathering. You can prepare it 24 hours or up to six months (!!) in advance. Stash it in the fridge, and it’ll be ready whenever you are.

Sangria Shrub Punch Recipe

A simple homemade grapefruit shrub is the base of this refreshing and spritzy pitcher cocktail.

Prep time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 3

    medium grapefruits, divided

  • 8 sprigs

    fresh rosemary, divided

  • 1/2 cup

    apple cider vinegar

  • 1 (750-mL) bottle

    cold dry white sparkling wine (such as prosecco or cava), or sparkling water

  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Finely grate the zest of 2 medium grapefruits into the bowl (about 1/4 packed cup). Strip the leaves from 5 of the fresh rosemary sprigs into the bowl. Rub the sugar, zest, and rosemary leaves together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the mixture is fragrant.

  2. Cut away the remaining peel from the 2 zested grapefruits, then chop the fruit into rough 1-inch pieces (2 1/4 cups). Add to the bowl and stir to combine, mashing gently to release some of the juices. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a small pitcher that holds around 6 cups, pressing down on the fruit to release its juices. Discard the contents of the strainer. Add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar to the pitcher and stir to combine.

  4. Cut the remaining 1 medium grapefruit in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into thin half-moons. Cut the remaining 3 fresh rosemary sprigs in half. Add the grapefruit and rosemary to the pitcher. Pour in 1 bottle cold sparkling wine or sparkling water and gently stir to combine. To serve, fill glasses with ice and pour in the sangria shrub, garnishing each glass with grapefruit and rosemary from the pitcher, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead and storage: The shrub can be made and stored up to 6 months in advance. Strain the grapefruit mixture into a large sealable jar (such as a Mason jar), stir in the apple cider vinegar, seal, and refrigerate until ready to use.