How to Beat Summer Hell in La Paz? Why With Sangria of Course!

Ingredients for perfect Sangria: cheap red wine, carbonation, fruit, and you

So what’s the climate like in La Paz? Well most of the year it is wonderful, a place where outdoor living is an art form.
And drinking icy-cold umbrella drinks is expected.

But my beloved likes to say we have five seasons here in Southern Baja:

  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Summer Hell

And what is Summer Hell you ask? It has nothing to do with burly guys and equally as burly girls on motorcycles. It is that time at the end of summer that you northerners might call the Dog Days, but worse.

From the middle of August through September the sun is broiling, the air is thick and steamy and there is nothing to do but escape into delightful, air conditioning. The air doesn’t move, and you wish you didn’t have to either.
This is the time when just hanging in the pool with a big sombrero and an icy glass of Sangria is about as much activity as one can and should muster.

Hang in the pool wearing a big sombrero and holding an icy-cold glass of Sangria

This is the time of year when even the most casual acquaintance that lives in town and doesn’t have a pool becomes my best friend!

I am a gregarious person. And I have a gorgeous beachfront home with a pool. I love to pamper my friends. And it is a lot more fun to enjoy the pool with other people around. So tomorrow I am having the first of my summer “Salad Days at Susan’s Pool” parties. I invited 7 other women to bring a salad and come for a swim.

I am making sangria. And here is the recipe:

– I used two bottles of a Santa Silva blend of Shiraz and Cabernet $90.00 (pesos each)
Other alcohol:
– I used 2 jiggers of Controy, this can be skipped or you can use gin, rum or Triple Sec
– I used Fresca; you can use anything from plain mineral water to any flavor carbonated water or citrus soda.
– 2 limes
– 2 oranges
– 1 grapefruit,
– Fresh or frozen strawberries (I use frozen so they act as ice cubes and do not dilute the brew. I am not a scientific cook; I splash, dash, and dump ingredients. So use as many strawberries as fit in the pitcher or look good to you.)
– ½ pineapple (Pina Miel) or you can use canned pineapple chunks and the juice.
– 2 tablespoons of sugar or a dash of simple syrup. (See simple syrup recipe below.)

Get a big pitcher that can hold two bottles of wine. Pour in the wine. (Or use two smaller pitchers and put half the ingredients in each.)

Squeeze the juice of the two limes, two oranges and one grapefruit into the wine. Remove the seeds first! Then dump the squeezed fruit in the pitcher.

Cover the pitcher and refrigerate.

Just prior to serving add the carbonation. This is where the fun begins, add the flavored carbonation to suit your taste.

Taste with a spoon, don’t get sloshed while preparing the sangria. Otherwise you may be a bit wobbly on your pretty flowered flip-flops with a tiny heel and drop the pitcher in the pool.

Add the frozen strawberries. Remember they act as ice cubes so let them plop into the glass as you pour.

Garnish the glasses with a lime or orange slice or even a paper umbrella.


Simple syrup:
1 cup of sugar and one cup of water, boil till sugar dissolves. Let cool.
Sweeten the sangria to taste.

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2 Replies to “How to Beat Summer Hell in La Paz? Why With Sangria of Course!”

  1. Oh that Sangria gets me every time. Make sure you don’t have to drive anywhere afterwards, we often under estimate just how “fuerte” the Sangria is. The perfect ending will be staying at Susan & Ira’s Casita, it’s just a few steps from the pool, you can wobble all you want. If you are looking for a perfect escape, look no more….Ah, la vida mas bonita!

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