this two buck chuck sangria is an easy & inexpensive red wine sangria recipe featuring trader joe’s famous charles shaw wine. make two buck chuck sangria one pitcher at a time – the perfect drink to serve at girls night, holiday parties, dinner parties, & more!
guess what, guess what, guess what!!!
today i’m teaching you a magic trick! it’s my best magic trick!
lolz betcha weren’t expecting that, were you?
i mean, you probably didn’t come here today expecting to learn a magic trick, right? you came here for a recipe, not magic!
well, friends…today we’re doing magic. ✨
best day ever?!
today we’re turning humble, self-deprecating two buck chuck into THE BEST SANGRIA EVER!!!
so…if you follow @playswellwithbutter on instagram, you know that i’m kiiiinda obsessed with trader joe’s. i shop at tj’s *at least* once a week. (i know, the *at least* part seems a little crazy, but sometimes food blogging necessitates multiple trips to the store in a week…or in a day. 😳🙈)
tj’s is just stocked with such affordable, quality, FUN stuff that it’s so hard not to love! in my basket, you can always find a few dozen roses (only $5.99!), a bag of teeny-tiny avocados (perfect single-serving size for avocado toast!), chicken sausage (spinach & feta is SO good!), a jar of spaghetti sauce (arrabbiata is my fave!), nitro cold brew (in the refrigerator section in single-serve bottles…omg SO creamy & amazing!), truffle cheese (helloooo cheese board 😍), & a small bag of dark chocolate peanut butter cups (up by the checkout lanes…they’re $0.99 & put justin’s to shame!).
but when it comes to what’s arguably tj’s most iconic item, charles shaw “two buck chuck” wine, i just gotta say that it really isn’t my fave. like…at all. there are a few things in life that are totally worth springing a few extra bucks on. good wine – hell, even decent wine – is absolutely one of them.
but. when it comes to making sangria, that’s a completely different story. the whole point of sangria is to add in tons of aromatics, fruits, & liqueurs, masking a lot of the delicate flavors & nuances of a good wine.
& you guessed it: two buck chuck is PERFECT for sangria.
two buck chuck sangria is so.freakin.good.
i’ve seriously been making this two buck chuck sangria recipe forrrevvvver. i love it because it’s so simple, but all of the components come together to make something so amazing that you will hardly be able to believe the base is a $3 bottle of wine.
first thing’s first, we booze up the two buck chuck with a leeettle bit of brandy & we add some sweetness with triple sec & fresh squeezed oj. then comes the fun part! the fruit!
this sangria uses oranges, apples, lemons, & limes. if you’re concerned about organics, now’s the time to buy organic since the sangria will steep directly with the fruit.
my super secret ingredient though? the ingredient that brings the✨magic✨ into this two buck chuck sangria situation?
fresh ginger is my obsession, especially when it comes to sangria. it adds just the little kick that you need to cut through the booze & the fruit & the wine. it’s exactly what keeps you going back in for another sip.
voila. party time.
a few things to keep in mind about two buck chuck sangria:
- stick with a bold, dry wine for two buck chuck sangria. you just want something that’s going to stand up to all of the fruit & add-ins that we’re putting in this two buck chuck sangria. the delicate notes of pinot noir get completely overpowered, & the sweet jamminess of the shiraz makes two buck chuck sangria way too sweet. stick with merlot or cabernet sauvignon. (i prefer the merlot to the cabernet, but it’s really up to you!)
- make two buck chuck sangria in advance! because we’re working with a pretty humble wine, you really need to give all of the ingredients time to meld together before serving it. plan ahead & let it sit overnight in the fridge – the extra time really makes a huge difference.
- serve two buck chuck sangria with fresh fruit! this may just be my personal preference, but whenever i serve sangria, i strain out the spent “sangria fruit” & replace it with some freshly cut fruit. if you ask me, sangria fruit is not exactly appetizing to look at & it’s fulfilled its flavor destiny of flavoring the sangria. swapping it out with fresh fruit takes the presentation of your two buck chuck sangria to the next level.
- two buck chuck sangria makes one helluva hostess gift. i mean…as a hostess, can you imagine anything better after a long day of prepping and cleaning than opening the door to find your friends smiling & offering you homemade sangria?! to gift two buck chuck sangria, i suggest making it the day before the party, to ensure all of the flavors have enough time to steep & meld together. just before you head to the party, strain out the fruit, transfer the sangria into a jar, & add in a little freshly sliced apple & orange (it looks prettier than the fruit that’s been steeping in the sangria!). your host will be so taken aback by your graciousness, & you don’t even have to tell him/her that you used $3 wine. (we can keep that secret between you & me. 💁🏻😉)
if you love this two buck chuck sangria recipe, here are a few more boozy recipes you’ll love!
- lavender lemonade rosé cocktails
- 3-ingredient weeknight palomas
- perfect bloody mary mix
- all plays well with butter cocktails
so…tell me! are you obsessed with trader joe’s? what are your favorite things to buy at trader joe’s? do you have girlfriends that would love two buck chuck sangria?! let me know in the comments below…i’d LOVE to chat! xo
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- 1 750-mL bottle Charles Shaw Merlot (or Cabernet...or any other cheap-ish red you love!)
- 1 1/2 C fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 C brandy
- 1/4 C triple sec
- 1/4 C granulated sugar
- 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, skin removed & chopped into large pieces
- 1 apple, cored & diced
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 lime, sliced
- for serving: additional thinly sliced orange and apple
- Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher & stir to combine.
- Let sangria sit in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 12 hours. Strain out the sangria fruit & discard.
- To serve, pour over ice and garnish with additional thinly sliced orange and apple.