Saturday Sangria: Pomegranate-Blackberry Primitivo

After last week’s white sangria, it only seemed fitting that we post something a little closer to the classic red sangria, building around the bold flavours of red wine.  Drawing inspiration from the myriad of berries making their ways into grocery stores (and soon coming into season!), we’ve paired Primitivo, a Limited Release that was part of our Festa Italia series in 2012 (you can also use Zinfandel), with blackberries and pomegranate for a darker, deeper sangria that celebrates the richness of the summer season.  It’s also perfect for pairing with heartier meat dishes, since the flavours of the red wine will hold their own against stronger foods – especially since your Primitivo (if you made it with us in 2010) is now at peak age!


Keep reading for the full recipe after the jump!

Pomegranate-Blackberry Primitivo sangria
serves 4

Pomegranate Blackberry Primitivo


  • 1/2 bottle Primitivo (or Zinfandel, or even Merlot) wine
  • 1/2 bottle (or to taste) sparkling pomegranate juice (we used Compliments’ Pomegranate Italian Soda – sparkling cranberry soda would also pair beautifully with these flavours if you can’t find pomegranate)
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp sugar (or 1/8 cup simple syrup)
  • ice


  • a jug, pitcher or decanter
  • knife and cutting board
  • bowl (not required, but makes it easier to get the pomegranate seeds from the fruit without making a big mess)
  • a juicing implement for the lemon, if using
  • a jar with a lid or muddler

Step 1: get the seeds from the pomegranate
As anyone who has ever opened a pomegranate knows, it can be very tricky to get the seeds out of the fruit without making a big mess.  Fortunately, there’s a trick! For a simple and easy way to get at the seeds, fill a large bowl with water – enough so that you can submerge your pomegranate.  With a sharp knife, cut the fruit in half and set one half aside.  Submerge the first half in the water and use your fingers to gently pry open the pomegranate to expose the seeds.  Carefully pick at the seeds to separate them from the spongy, honeycomb-like interior of the pomegranate, keeping the fruit submerged to prevent juice splashes if a seed gets crushed.  You could also use a spoon to remove the seeds, if you’d prefer, but you’re more likely to crush some as you go, and it’s not quite as easy as using your hands.  Repeat with the other half until all of the seeds have been freed, and set them aside.

Pomegranate Blackberry Primitivo sangria

Pomegranate Blackberry Primitivo sangria

Step 2: slice and juice lemon; add fruit to pitcher

Cut a few slices from the lemon, for presentation (be sure to remove seeds!), then juice the rest.  Add the lemon slices, about half of the pomegranate seeds and half of the blackberries to your pitcher or jug.

Pomegranate Blackberry Primitivo sangria

Step 3: muddle the remaining blackberries with a handful or so of the pomegranate seeds (but reserve some)

As mentioned last week, muddling your fruit in a mason jar is quick, easy and relatively mess-free.  Just add the fruit to a jar filled halfway with ice, screw on the lid and shake!

Pomegranate Blackberry Primitivo sangria

Step 4: Add the muddled fruit and ice to your pitcher, and top with the lemon juice, Primitivo wine, and sparkling pomegranate.  Add sugar and stir to dissolve.

When you’re ready to serve, add a few of the remaining pomegranate seeds to each glass and then pour sangria.

Pomegranate Blackberry Primitivo sangria

For bonus points, garnish with a lemon wedge or curls of lemon peel!

Pomegranate Blackberry Primitivo sangria

Pomegranate Blackberry Primitivo sangria

…and enjoy!

What’s your favourite way to enjoy wine in the summer?  Let us know what you think of our sangria recipes (or about summer wine sipping in general) by leaving a comment!

3 thoughts on “Saturday Sangria: Pomegranate-Blackberry Primitivo

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