Sugarfree Sangria for an End of Summer Party

Whew it’s been a long and eventful end of summer!

Why so busy?  Well to start with, we had one daughter beginning college out of state, and another entering graduate school a (mere) couple hours away.  This, in turn, meant refrigerators to buy, free furniture to look for, last minute crises to avert, and celebrations to plan.

Sangria on party table

Sangria on party table

On their last day “home”, both girls worked their summer jobs, came home to a going away party (already in progress), loaded up cars and departed the next day.   Who needs sleep?

If this wasn’t enough, there were pears to harvest (more on this later), swim meets to watch (whew, not an empty nester yet), sick kittens to nurse (yes, momma needed a new baby), and blog posts to think about (but not get around to writing).


New kitten!

But after serving my secret, easy enough to do in your sleep, sangria twice in the past week, I just had to share.   Who knows how many other people could use a super-easy party drink right now!

Sweetened with diet 7-up and orange juice, and adorned with whatever fruit I happen to have on hand, it is my “go to” summer and fall party beverage and always earns me far more credit than I deserve (shhhh)!

Sangria, served

Sangria, served

Summer Sangria


  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 can diet 7 up
  • 1 c orange juice
  • 1/2 c brandy
  • fruit of your choice


  1. Slice fruit, removing seeds if applicable, and place in bottom of pitcher.

    sliced fruit in Sangria pitcher

    Place sliced fruit in pitcher

  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir until blended..
  3. Add ice to pitcher or serve over ice.
kitten yawning

Call your friends to share

31 thoughts on “Sugarfree Sangria for an End of Summer Party

    1. Inger Post author

      I think she’s a cutey (but I know I’m biased)! I think I was still recovering from a moving marathon in Madison on Wednesday!

  1. Freeda Baker Nichols

    Lovely photos and the kitten is darling!! Are both pics of the same kitten?

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks, Freeda. Both pictures are of the same kitten–it is just so hard to get her to pose ;-). BTW, she and Ollie (our black yearling) are great buddies–like she’s the little sister he always wanted (he even lets her eat first)!

  2. Choc Chip Uru

    Ooh that makes me so excited about future college life 😀
    And your kitty is too adorable!
    Summer is also fast approaching so I reckon that this sangria would be perfect!

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Inger Post author

      I love how the internet gets you thinking about other people’s seasons! And I know college will be very fun and exciting for you!

  3. Kathy

    I love your photos, Inger! And your kitty is so adorable! It does sound like you’ve had a very busy summer…I remember the days of sending my kids off to college…hectic is the word that comes to mind. Have a great day!

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Kathy. Yes, hectic is a good description! And now that they are off, the 75 lbs of peaches and nectarines I ordered came in and our pears ripened. This will make me appreciate winter 😉

  4. Louise

    Oh what a cutie. Name? I too remember those days of sending kids off. Funny thing is, I wound up moving to PA when my kids were at PSU, lol and I stayed!

    Can’t wait to hear the rest of your news. I know there’s more:) Love the Sangria. I’m actually sitting here with a boozy concoction of my own. Marion’s Pepsi mixed with Marion’s leftover Trader Joe’s cherry juice and MY Pineapple Rum! Nighty, nigh:) and thanks for sharing, Inger. Breathe:)

    1. Inger Post author

      The kitten is Sophie and we adore her! Your boozy cherry juice et al comment had me chuckle ’cause I’ve been canning cases of fruit lately–a lot with booze, which is sooo much tastier than a basic sugar syrup 😉 Can’t wait to get it all processed and catch up on reading all the blogger news I am missing!

    1. Inger Post author

      I don’t know if the diet 7-up is delusional, but if nothing else it is easy!

  5. Karis

    Love everything about this post! A sangria recipe that I loved sampling in June and the photos of your new kitten are awesome. I hope your eldest loves Madison as much as I did.

    1. Inger Post author

      So far so good on the Madison move. She is getting everywhere on her bike and remarks that everything seems closer than when she was in Tempe (wait ’til winter, I know). Hope your move has gone well–I have been canning like a maniac but really need to get on facebook for news

  6. lena

    hi inger, how did you manage the capture the last pic of the kitten? looks like it is letting out a big laugh! haha…it looks hilarious ! thx for sharing this cocktail recipe. Going to chk out your facebook 🙂

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Lena. I was just lucky getting the last picture or her. Usually she moves to fast for me 😉

  7. Kathy

    thanks for the Sangria recipe! Gosh, it does sound like you’ve been busy, Inger. And the kitty is so adorable. I hope it is feeling chipper by now.

    1. Inger Post author

      She is doing great now–amazing what a round of antibiotics can do. Thanks for asking Kathy.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Grace! Served it again at book club last night–and the kitten of course attended 😉

  8. Lynn

    Love the pictures! And the Sangria sounds fabulous – we just started an “end of summer/harvest” celebration tradition last year. We do it at the end of September and I think this would be a perfect addition to our menu.

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  10. Beth

    Phew! We’ve been busy moving our university daughter into an apartment, but at least our other daughter’s still at home. You’ve been busy!

    1. Inger Post author

      I always wonder what I’d do without fellow bloggers for inspiration and reminders!

  11. alison

    I do not think adding sugar free anything should be on a website about natural living. Aspartame, splenda, etc are some of the highest allergens and contains horrible chemicals that will mitigate any healthy choices you’re making.

    1. Inger Post author

      You could certainly substitute regular 7 up or club soda with stevia if you wanted to. The problems in my mind is that there are potential issues with just about any sweetener. Sugar can promote diabetes, “juice sweetened” usually means conventional white grape juice which is on the dirty dozen (and may still have enough sugar to promote diabetes). Then there are the new studies (though they are a bit weak) linking artificial sweeteners to weight gain, which in theory could even include stevia. At 1/8 of a can per serving in this, the dose is unlikely to be a problem for people without PKU or other medical issues–and none of the recipes on this blog are intended to meet the needs of, or be safe for, people with health problems. But for those who wish to or need to avoid aspartame, a substitution is easy. Do you think I should edit the post and mention that?

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