A glass of sweet sangria is the perfect poolside treat or nightcap. This wine-and-fruit-based cocktail is best served after sitting for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator; this time allows the flavors to blend and the fruit to soak up some of the liquid. But sangria has a storage sweet spot. Treat it the same way you’d treat leftover chicken: it’s fine after a few days in the refrigerator, but four or five days is too long.
Air exposure is what speeds up the breaking down of wine, so it’s an enemy of sangria. That doesn’t mean you have to transfer all your sangria to a special container; if you’re planning to finish off the rest of today’s sangria tomorrow, keep it in its pitcher and cover the surface of the liquid with plastic wrap.
But if you’re going to keep the drink for a few days, or are really concerned about keeping the sangria flavor unaltered, pour it into mason jars or other containers with screw-on caps.
Always store leftover sangria in the fridge. The cold air will help slow down the souring of the wine and keep the fruit fresh.
Sparkling water or soda adds fizz and brightness to a glass of sangria. These liquids will go flat if they sit open, so leave them out of your big batch of cocktails. Instead, splash a little into individual glasses of sangria right before serving. Add a little fresh fruit to a glass of leftover sangria as well.
Sangria that sits in your fridge a little too long probably won’t harm you. The primary problem with old sangria is that opened wine starts to take on a vinegar flavor the longer it sits.
Once opened, light white wine can generally be stored for five to seven days, while red wines and full-bodied whites should be used within three to five days. However, the cut fruit may start to go bad before the wine does. From the time you first mix a batch of sangria, plan to finish or discard it within three days.
If a fruit doesn’t refrigerate well or falls apart easily, keep it out of your sangria. Banana will turn unappealingly brown in the fridge. Melon cubes are sweet last-minute additions to sangria, but they’ll turn mushy and unappetizing in leftovers.
It’s a shame to see a good cocktail go to waste. If you won’t be able to finish a batch of sangria within three days, consider freezing the leftovers.
You may leave berries in the sangria, as they freeze well, but cut large pieces into small cubes. Scoop out and discard any pieces of apple, citrus and other fruits, as these will turn limp and mushy when defrosted. Pour the sangria into ice-cube trays and freeze until firm; note that the wine will remain a little slushy. Transfer the cubes to an air-tight container and stash it in the freezer for up to a few months. Thaw a few cubes at a time in the refrigerator before drinking.
You can also pour the liquid into plastic baggies or food storage containers, but the larger the chunks of frozen sangria, the longer they’ll take to thaw.