With the arrival of Summer, the refreshing drinks that you can sip on the patio are coming back. One of the most popular is sangria. This fruity wine-based drink will make you feel like you’re on the beaches of Spain and Portugal.
You can get sangria pre-made by the bottle or make your own at home. Sangria is typically made with Spanish red wine, although white wine and rosé versions are becoming popular.
Add some cut-up fruit – some of the most popular are berries, apples, and lemon or lime juice – liquefied brown sugar and brandy or rum into the wine, and your sangria is born.
It’s the kind of drink that’s easy to make a big batch at a time. You can make several pitchers at once, and they can all be different flavors.
How long does sangria last in the fridge? The shelf life of sangria can vary depending on the type of fruit you’ve chosen to add. As a general rule, sangria can stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days.
After three days, sangria will go bad, start to lose its freshness, and become undrinkable.
How Long Can Sangria Last?
Keeping leftover sangria in your fridge is the best place to store it. Try to avoid leaving it out in the open air for too long.
If you plan on taking the entire three-day lifespan to drink it, keeping it in an airtight container is best, but if you’re planning on finishing it rather quickly, just some plastic wrap over the pitcher is enough.
The method you use to prepare your sangria can affect the length of time it can last. The best way to ensure sangria’s longevity is by letting your wine and fruits sit in the fridge for roughly 12-24 hours.
It allows the fruit pieces to soak up the wine. If you don’t give the fruit the time to soak in the alcohol first, the sangria can go bad quicker.
The type of wine you choose will also play a part in how long your sangria will last. White wine sangrias can last a little bit longer – up to 5 days in the fridge. But a traditional full-bodied red wine won’t stay in the fridge and should be finished within three days.
Beyond three days, the wine will undergo oxidation can go rancid.
Oxidation of the Wine-Base
Contact with oxygen is an enemy of wine. When wine – and therefore the sangria – meets air, it creates a chemical reaction: oxidation.
After it’s been in contact with the air for too long, alcohol will become oxidized into acetaldehyde, which will make the wine smell like bruised apples. It can then turn into acetic acid, and the process turns wine into vinegar.
The colors of the wine base will also change thanks to oxidation. The reactions cause wines to take on an amber shade. White wine then becomes darker, and red wine becomes paler and dull.
How Can You Tell If Your Sangria is Bad?
Like with any wine-based alcoholic drink, exposure to open air and oxygen can do the most damage. You’ll be able to tell when your sangria has gone bad based on look and smell.
If your sangria looks like it’s changed color, it’s likely gone bad. The odor will begin to change too.
There are several easy ways to find out if your sangria has gone bad.
- Make sure that the liquid is not cloudy, has any bubbles or sediments floating around. If your sangria doesn’t look like typical wine should, then it’s a sign that something’s off.
- You should pay attention to the color of your sangria. Red wines appear less clear, and white wine can turn yellow when in the process of oxidation. Your sangria is only at its best when the reds are vibrant, and the whites are clear.
- If your sangria smells vinegar-like, the wine-base has already turned rancid, and you should throw it away.
- Similarly, if your sangria has a vinegar taste, it’s a further sign that it’s gone bad
It’s the oxidation of the wine in your sangria that will make it more acidic and taste and smell like vinegar. Keeping your sangria covered in the fridge will help delay some of these reactions, but it’s something to watch for if it’s been sitting out for a while.
It’s also important to be mindful of the fruit in your sangria. It can grow moldy or mushy in the right conditions, which will contribute to the off-putting scent.
Beyond a tasting to test its quality, you shouldn’t drink sangria that has gone bad. It won’t do any real, lasting damage, but it can make you feel sick, and it’s best not to risk it.
How Can You Make Sangria Last Longer?
If you made a big batch of sangria but want to enjoy it in moderation, you can make it last by freezing it. Remove all the solid fruit and pour the sangria into an ice cube tray in the freezer. Once the sangria cubes are frozen solid, you should put them in a freezer bag to store. Then you have it available to thaw out for later.
Freezing the sangria can add another week or two to its lifespan, and it would be a refreshing treat on a particularly hot day.
Sangria can go bad, just like any other wine-based drink. The lines are blurry as to when questionable sangria crosses the line to become undrinkable, but keeping the container tightly covered will delay any oxidation.
The fridge is the perfect place to store it for up to three days, but it’s still a good idea to drink it as soon as possible. The fresher the batch is, the better it will taste.
Just be sure to keep checking on the fruit you’ve added to make sure it’s still good. If any of the fruit has gone bad, it can spoil the whole pitcher.