Cocktails: Sangria Flora c/o Barcelona's Gretchen Thomas

Gretchen Thomas

We are pleased to introduce a new CTbites contributor, Gretchen Thomas, the Wine & Spirits Director for the Barcelona Restaurant Group. She supervises the largest Spanish wine program in the United States, managing 200 labels from 11 countries, and acts as the lead mixologist for The Barcelona Restaurants. 

Summer months bring lots of outdoor cooking opportunities. As an avid BBQ host, I know that the simpler the menu, the easier it is to relax and enjoy the fun. Firing up the grill and throwing on the hotdogs and burgers is always a cinch, but planning the beverages can often be a frustrating element.

An extremely simple and delicious recipe for Sangria Flora crossed my desk a year ago and it has become a necessary staple at all my backyard gatherings, right up there with the yard games and bug spray. It was introduced to me by the founder of St. Germain, an Elderflower liqueur that is prominent at every real cocktail bar in the country. The recipe was created by the company and its simple – St Germain, dry white or rose wine, and chopped fresh fruit.

Before I tried it the first time I certainly raised an eyebrow, “sangria with only 2 ingredients?”  Yes, this is not traditional. Most sangria recipes have numerous ingredients, including juices, liqueurs, spirits and of course wine. However that can get daunting if you are making it on your own at home, God forbid you don’t like the final outcome after making a big batch. However this version, aptly named “sangria flora,” has all the flavors of tropical fruits and flowers, with very little effort, or expense. To make a large batch you will need 1 bottle of St Germain (retail avg. $32.00), 5 bottles of your favorite dry white or rose wine, I recommend anything un-oaked, young and super crisp, and some fresh fruit.  A large glass container and 10 minutes of your time, et voila! Be prepared to share the recipe with all your guests, this sangria always delivers lots of praise.

Sangria Flora Recipe

Courtesy of St. Germain. Modified by Gretchen Thomas


1 bottle of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

4 – 5 bottles of dry white wine or rose wine

2 peaches, diced

10 strawberries, sliced

15 - 20 raspberries

15 - 20 white grapes, sliced in half.

1. Rinse all the fruit well with water before preparing. Cut and set aside. 

2. In a large container, pour in the wine and St Germain. Add the fruit then stir well.

3. For best results, allow to sit for about 15 minutes before serving.

4. Serve into ice-filled glasses. Enjoy!