Speciosa Sangria: Spectacular Kratom Drinks for the Holidays
During the holidays, we love adding a little something special to our usual routine. To mix things up, we try out new hiking trails, make creative gifts for family and friends, or whip up a new kratom tea recipe. This kratom sangria did not disappoint. It adds a whole lot of something special to a basic brew. Making it takes some time (especially to steep and chill) but the process is overall pretty easy. Plus, the result is simply stunning.
If this particular kratom mocktail isn’t your cup of tea, we’ve still got you covered. The Top Tree team has crafted a number of mixed kratom drinks that are perfect for the holidays. Head to the kratom tea recipe page of the Better Brewing Blog to explore more.
If you’re going all in on making Speciosa Sangria with us, then grab your favorite strain of tea and mixers. It’s time to get muddling!
Amalgamations and Reputations: Kratom and Sangria’s History
The origins of sangria date all the way back to 1000 to 500 B.C. Within that time period, the Phoenicians were adding wine to water to make it potable. They also added fruits, spices, and herbs to improve the flavor. This original concoction has changed greatly over the centuries. New trade routes formed and cultivation practices – viticulture, in the case of grapes – were developed over time. As cultures shifted, so did the range of possibilities for the alcohol, fruits, and sweeteners that comprise sangria.
There is no single recipe for sangria that is widely accepted, though their is a general formula that most people follow. The word sangria comes from sangre, the Spanish word for blood – the color of a traditional red sangria. Despite the name, sangria is often made with white wine.
Kratom Sangria: White or Red?
Even though this is a non-alcoholic sangria, the question still applies!
We’re not choosing between white and red wine, but between white vein and red vein kratom. White vein kratom is usually associated with energizing and focusing effects, whereas red vein kratom is typically associated with relaxation and can help bring relief to bodily discomfort. There’s also green vein kratom, which is usually considered to be an intermediate between white and red veins.
Which Strain of Kratom to Use in Kratom Sangria
We used Red Dragon tea – a red vein variety – in our kratom sangria because we (the Top Tree Recipe Creation Team Extraordinaire) prefer drinking red veins for socializing and relaxing in the evening. That made Red Dragon the perfect choice for a specialty kratom mocktail to bring to our family’s holiday celebration.
Everyone is different, however, so you should use the variety of kratom tea that you like best. Keep in mind, the benefits you can receive from kratom tea depend on not just what’s in your tea bag, but also how you brew it. The main factors include the serving size, how long you steep the leaves, and which fruits, foods, herbs or other things you mix it with.
What all of this really means is: the choice between kratom mocktails made with white or red or green vein kratom tea is a personal decision! If you prefer using a different strain of tea in your mixed kratom drinks, go for it! Unlike the choice between white or red wine, the choice between different kratom tea strains won’t noticeably affect the taste of your kratom sangria.
Why Substitute Alcohol with Kratom in Mocktails and Mixed Drinks?
Teas are a common substitute for alcohol in mocktails of all kinds. They have a range of rich, fruity, bitter, and sharp flavors that can easily be adapted to resemble their spirituous cocktail counterparts. Kratom is no different.
Holidays have become an excuse for indulgence of all kinds, especially with foods and drinks. While many people reach for their favorite bottle of liquor at a holiday party, there is a wide range of reasons people may not want to drink alcohol during this time of year (or ever).
We at Top Tree never want anyone to feel left out because they do or don’t consume a particular food or drink. You should make the choice that’s best for you and those around you. No matter what reason you have for consuming kratom, we’re here to give you more options!
Does Speciosa Sangria taste like the original?
Speciosa Sangria is a top notch mixed drink. Depending upon which version you make, your kratom mocktail may not look or taste exactly the same as as a traditional sangria. Nevertheless, your kratom recipe will come out looking and tasting absolutely spectacular, a unique treat to savor and share.
While kratom is certainly not a 1:1 substitute for wine, we’ve worked hard to make our kratom sangria resemble a traditional one in both taste and appearance. Admittedly, the deep red sangre color was a little lacking in our initial attempt at making Speciosa Sangria. It’s difficult to achieve without using bottled fruit juices or synthetic food colorings. We tried to stick to just teas and 100% fruit juices in our recipe, but we won’t be offended if you go off script to create that rich burgundy look.
Which Fruit Juice to Mix in Kratom Sangria
Many sangria mocktails (not the speciosa kind) call for a fruit juice or a mix of multiple juices. These include grape juice, pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, and orange juice. Such fruit juices are often laden with sugar – not just the natural sugars from the fruits, but added cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, a lot of sangria recipes don’t specify whether you should use sweetened or unsweetened juice. So here’s where we started to experiment…
Though there is no singular widely-used sangria recipe, we aimed to keep our kratom sangria as consistent with the “traditional” versions as possible. We tested two kratom sangria recipes, and tried out variations for each one with the addition of different sparkling tonics and sweeteners.
Herbal tea vs. fruit juice base
The primary component of our sangria base is kratom, and the secondary component is either fruit juice or strong herbal tea.
In our first kratom sangria attempt we avoided bottled fruit juices and instead combined the kratom with other herbal teas. We used two bags of our Borneo Berry Bliss kratom herbal blend with one bag of lemon tea and one bag of pomegranate tea. The mix of berry, lemon, and pomegranate teas was fragrant and tasty. However, it didn’t really give that full-bodied feel that wine might provide. We gave this brew extra time to chill in the fridge and let the juices mix together. While it didn’t taste exactly like sangria in the end, it was still a triumph in it’s own right. Sweet, tangy, bright, and refreshing!
In our second version, we skipped the herbal teas and opted for the commonly-suggested pomegranate juice. The flavors of the kratom tea and added fruits were subtle relative to the pomegranate flavor. Overall, the taste was much richer.
We used organic brown sugar in this kratom sangria recipe. However, adding sugar is entirely optional.
Most sangria recipes call for one to two tablespoons of sweetener per serving. Our kratom sangria is no exception, but we didn’t follow the exact guidelines in our recipe.
If you have time to let your Speciosa Sangria steep and chill in the fridge overnight, it’ll get sweeter as the tea melds with the sliced fruits. Adding sugar can help further cut the bitterness of the tea, but may slightly overwhelm the fruit flavors. If you use fruit juice instead of tea, check to see if it has added sugar. You may want to use less cane sugar in your recipe if your fruit juice is sweetened.
You can also adjust the amount of sugar depending upon whether you use sparkling water or a sparkling tonic. The bubbly addition may be on the sweeter side, or it may be less sweet and end up diluting the sweetness of the fruit mixture.
Speciosa Sangria Decorations & Fruits
You can use any fruits, juices, and add-ins you want to create your kratom sangria, in addition to or in place of the ones in the recipe. Some suggestions include:
- Fruits: berries, peaches, pears, bananas, kiwi, cherries, pineapple, plums
- Spices: cloves, cinnamon
- Base: unsweetened red or white grape juice, cranberry juice, apple juice, a sparkling fruit juice, non-alcoholic wine
- Garnish: sprigs of mint or rosemary, a twist of lemon or orange rind, extra sliced fruits
Prep and brew time: 45 min
Chill time: a few hours (preferably overnight)
- 8 Red Dragon kratom tea bags (see note below)
- 4 cups water (plus 3 more if making herbal tea version)
- 1 medium apple, sliced into small pieces
- 1 medium lemon, sliced in rounds
- 1 lime, sliced in rounds
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 large oranges, 1 sliced in rounds, 1 juiced
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup organic cane sugar, more or less to taste (optional, see note below)
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 3 cups fruit juice, non-alcoholic wine, or herbal tea (see note below)
- 1.5 cups tonic water, sparkling water, or club soda
- 4-6 cups ice cubes
- Large jar or pitcher (approx. 2 liters)
- Optional garnish & decoration: see note below
- Stovetop: Place tea bags and 4 cups of water into a small saucepan and squeeze ⅓ of the lemon onto them. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cover. Continue simmering for 20 minutes.
Thermos: (Brewing in a thermos may be tricky if you’re making the full 8 servings. To make it easier, you can make your tea in multiple batches, brew in an extra large thermos, or use a kratom carafe.) Place tea bags into your thermos or carafe and squeeze ⅓ of the lemon onto them. Add boiling water, cap, and allow to steep for at least 20 minutes.
- While your kratom is steeping, slice your fruit. Some of the fruit can be reserved to for garnish when you’re ready to serve your sangria. Slices should be fairly thin (approx. 1/4 in.) so they can soak up the teas and fruit juices easily. The cranberries are mostly decorative, and can be left whole. Add the sliced fruits to a large jar or pitcher.
- If using sugar, pour it on top of the fruit in the pitcher. Use a wooden spoon to muddle the sugar with the fruit for 30-60 seconds. Add the cinnamon stick and juice of one of the oranges.
- Herbal tea version: boil 3 cups of water and steep 4-5 herbal tea bags according to package directions (see discussion above with what we used). Once the kratom and herbal teas have cooled off a bit, add them to the pitcher with the fruit and sugar. Stir well to combine. Fruit juice version: combine 3 cups of fruit juice with kratom tea and add to the pitcher with the sliced fruit. Stir well to combine.
- Cover the pitcher and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Your kratom sangria will taste best if left overnight so that the sliced fruits can soak up the tea mixture and release their juices.
- Prepare glasses for serving. If adding a sugar rim, do so before adding anything else to the glasses. Place a few ice cubes in each glass, then pour in your Speciosa Sangria until the glass is about 2/3 full. You may need to use a spoon to transfer chunks of fruit from the pitcher to each glass (though you can leave it out if you prefer – it makes for a great snack later!).
- Optional: add a splash of tonic water and garnish with extra cranberries and slices of fruit (see suggestions above or notes below for more ideas).
Kratom tea bags: We used a red vein kratom tea for this recipe, but the choice of tea is entirely yours. Use whatever you like best. (Check out Top Tree’s raw leaf kratom tea options!)
Wine or fruit juice: Most sangria mocktails call for the addition of non-alcoholic wine, a fruity tea like hibiscus or pomegranate, or bottled fruit juices like pomegranate, grape, or cranberry. We tried our sangria two ways. First, we used a mix of Top Tree’s Borneo Berry Bliss tea, lemon herbal tea, and pomegranate herbal tea. Second, we used pomegranate juice.
The herbal tea version was lighter in color and feel relative to a typical red wine sangria. It still tasted great and got stronger as it steeped in the fridge. The pomegranate juice version tasted the most like a red wine sangria, and had the deep red color we were initially striving for. In this kratom sangria recipe, we omitted the added sugar because the juice was already fairly sweet.
Servings: This recipe makes enough kratom sangria to fit into a 2-liter pitcher or jar.
You can of course halve or double (or triple!) the recipe if you’d like. Your sangria will last a few days when stored in the fridge. Just keep in mind that kratom is acid-labile, i.e. the tea will be less potent after a few days because of how the alkaloids react with the acid from the citrus and other fruit juices over time.
Sweetener: Most people add granulated sugar to sangria. You can adjust the amount of sugar based on the amount of sugar in your fruit juice and tonic water, and your personal taste.
Decoration: Kratom sangria has a beautiful red color and looks great on its own, but there are some easy and fun ways to dress it up for the holidays. Our favorites: sliced oranges and lime rounds, cinnamon sticks, fresh cranberries, a sprig of mint, or a sugar rim.
Other Kratom Drinks and Winter Kratom Recipes
We hope you have a blast making and sharing your Speciosa Sangria. Don’t forget to check out our other mixed kratom drinks, like our kratom mojito mocktail. We’ve also got wintertime classics like kratom hot chocolate and kratom chai lattes.
Cheers to better brewing and to a spectacular holiday season!