Let me introduce to you my favorite drink of all time. It’s Strawberry Vanilla Bean Sangria y’all. They serve this drink at a restaurant in Raleigh called Cantina 18. I had it a while back when it was on special on a Friday and I’ve never met a drink I like better. I am not a wine person at all. I might be the only college girl who does not love wine. In my year of being 21 I have never ordered a glass of wine at a restaurant. I have no problem drinking it if it is served to me but I will usually go with a beer instead. This strawberry vanilla bean sangria recipe is the exception. Wine is the main component in sangria but this drink will have you fooled.
It took me a while to consider how in the world they make this amazing drink. I knew they definitely used fresh strawberries because there was evidence of the seeds at the bottom of my glass. I also knew they used actual vanilla bean because of the black flecks in the drink. So with that small bit of knowledge I decided to give the recipe a whirl myself.
You will need:
- 1- 750 mL bottle of dry white wine. I used Riesling.
- 1/2 carton of strawberries
- 1 Vanilla Bean (side note: these are crazy expensive…4 dollars a pop. Apparently William Sonoma and Amazon sell vanilla bean paste that is much cheaper and easier to use. Substitute one tablespoon if using the paste.)
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 – 1.5 cups simple syrup depending on sweetness of wine/strawberries (boil equal parts sugar and water till dissolved)
- Splash or two of Vodka if stronger sangria is desired.
- large pitcher
- fine mesh strainer
- blender or food processor
- lime for garnish
If the wine isn’t already chilled stick it in the freezer for a bit.
Rinse the strawberries and hull them. Give them a rough chop before placing them in the food processor. Blend until they are completely liquified. Combine the blended strawberries and the wine. Grab a fine mesh strainer and pour the mixture over the pitcher you will be serving in. This will remove any strawberry pulp but there shouldn’t be too much.
Mix in the vanilla bean seeds into the sangria as well as the juice of two limes. Stir vigorously to incorporate the vanilla beans seeds. Stir in the cooled simple syrup. Give the sangria a taste to see if it is missing anything. If you think it needs more of a kick you can add a little vodka.
Garnish with a lime slice and serve over plenty of ice! Be sure to stir the pitcher before pouring each glass so that the vanilla bean is mixed throughout.