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Our goal was to wow you with one, delicious midsummer cocktail—and then we started to debate. The mixologists (and staffers!) at Robert Ryan Catering & Design couldn’t agree upon just one, so here are our top picks. True, three of them are variations on a theme—sangria—but each has subtle differences.

Clearly, you’ll need to do some taste-testing yourself to decide which is your favorite. We think any one of them (or all of them) is a perfect match for a summer event, be it a shower, a reception or even a picnic!

Margarita Roja

Serves 2


  • 2 ounces lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 3 ounces tequila (gold)
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup (if you like a slightly sweeter drink; otherwise, omit)
  • 1 slice of lime
  • Kosher salt (optional)
  • 2 ounces red wine (Merlot)
  • 2 lime wheels for garnish


  1. Fill a shaker with ice, then pour lime juice, triple sec, tequila and agave syrup over the ice and shake well.
  2. If a salt rim is desired, rub the rim of the glasses with a lime slice to make the salt stick to it. Pour the salt on a plate, then place the rim of the glasses on top to coat.
  3. Fill glasses with ice, then strain the margarita mix over it.
  4. Pour red wine on top. Garnish with a lime wheel.


White Peach Sangria

Serves 6


  • 1 bottle dry white wine (750 milliliter), like Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3/4 cup peach-flavored vodka
  • 8 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pound white peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 3/4 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 3/4 cup seedless green grapes, halved


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Refrigerate, covered for at least 5 hours (or up to 2 days).
  3. Serve over ice and use a slotted spoon to include slice peaches and grapes with each serving.


Strawberry Rhubarb Rosé Sangria

Serves 7


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups fresh rhubarb (about 2 stalks; diced into 3/4-inch cubes)
  • 1 bottle rosé wine (750 milliliter)
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 2 cups strawberries, quartered
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves, torn
  • 2 cups club soda


  1. In a medium pot, combine water and sugar and bring to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add rhubarb, then stir and cover. Simmer for about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. After it is cooled, strain the liquid into a large pitcher. Add wine, lime slices, strawberries and mint leaves to the pitcher, cover it and refrigerate for at least 5 hours (or up to 2 days).

Add club soda when ready to serve.

Red Sangria

Serves 12


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 3/4 cup brandy
  • 1 large bottle red wine (1.5 liter; can be cabernet or your favorite red wine)
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 oranges, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 red apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 lemons, sliced into thin rounds


  1. To make the simple syrup, boil water and pour over sugar to dissolve. Cool.
  2. Pour into large pitcher, then add triple sec, brandy, wine, orange juice, oranges, apples and lemons. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 5 hours (or up to 2 days).
  3. Serve in glasses over ice.

Ready to start planning? Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers today!Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venuesSubscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.Kim MacKinnonPhotos: Michelle Durinzi, Robert Ryan Catering & Design