Beverages, Recipes

The Best Red Sangria (Easy Recipe)

Red sangria is a classic batch cocktail made to entertain!

It’s fruity, very boozy, and so easy to make. Mix it right in the pitcher, and it’s ready for serving. 

The Best Red Sangria (Easy Recipe) featuring A glass of Red Sangria with slices of fresh apples, oranges, and strawberries and a slice of lime wedge.

The blend of red wine, fresh fruit, juice, and brandy will liven up any party. 

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Fix up a pitcher for your next brunch or barbecue. Or explore Spanish cuisines and serve it with tapas

It’s incredibly refreshing on a hot day. So, it’s a fantastic accompaniment for a summer party or patio sipper.

Whatever the occasion, make red sangria, and you’ll be everyone’s favorite person. 

What Is Sangria?

Sangria is a quintessential pitcher cocktail in Spain and Portugal. Boozy and fruity, it’s like a hard punch for adults!

Classic red sangria blends Spanish red wine, liqueur, and fresh fruit. It’s easy to make and serves a crowd. 

There are tons of variations, too. 

Some versions include ingredients like juices, sparkling beverages, soda, spices, and various fruits. Others skip the red wine and use white wine or rosé.

Any type of sangria is delicious if you ask me. But this one is an ode to the traditional recipe. 

The name comes from “sangre,” which is Spanish for blood. So, it’s only fitting to use red wine. It also calls for brandy, orange juice, simple syrup, and fruit.

Top view of a glass of Red Sangria with strawberries, apples, and oranges garnished with lime wheel

Ingredients

As I mentioned before, sangria has tons of variations. For this traditional version, use the following ingredients:

  • Fresh Fruit- For soaking in the booze! I use a mix of apple, orange, lemon, and lime. Berries are also optional, but they’re a fabulous garnish.
  • Red Wine- Go for a Spanish wine like Pinot Noir or Rioja. Essentially, any fruit-forward, slightly dry Spanish red should hit the mark.
  • Brandy- Traditional sangria calls for brandy. You can also use rum, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau to make it extra boozy.
  • Orange Juice- Fresh OJ adds a sweet, bright flavor while keeping the alcohol in check.
  • Simple Syrup- To balance all the flavors and sweeten the drink. Depending on the natural sweetness of the fresh fruit, add more or less to taste.

Best Red Wine for Sangria 

Wondering what the best wine is for sangria? I have you covered!

Sangria is a wine-based cocktail, so the type of red you use is vital. You want something fruity and slightly dry with a complimentary flavor profile. 

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A Spanish red wine is classic, but you can use other types. Here are some of my top recommendations:

  • Rioja: A Spanish red wine with grape varieties like Tempranillo and Garnacha. Its fruity flavor makes it great for sangria.
  • Garnacha: Also known as Grenache, this Spanish red is low in tannins. It also has fruity notes like berry and cherry.
  • Tempranillo: A full-bodied Spanish red wine with red fruit flavors and oaky notes.
  • Pinot Noir: A drier, light- to medium-bodied red wine with low tannins and high acidity. Flavor notes range from earthy to fruity. 
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: A full-bodied red wine with lovely fruity notes like black currant. It’s also easy to find.
  • Boxed wine: It’s not the fanciest. But boxed wine is fantastic for sangria because it is economical and comes in a large serving. So you can double the batch. Plus, boxed wine has come a long way. Some brands like Bota Box and Black Box are actually pretty tasty.
Red sangria cocktail served in glasses with fresh apples, oranges, strawberries and lime on top of wooden cutting board.

How to Make Red Sangria 

Sangria is a beginner-friendly cocktail you can make in no time. Just follow these four easy steps:

1. Prep the fruit. Chop the apple, orange, lemon, and lime into chunks. Add them to a pitcher.

2. Pour and stir. Pour the red wine, brandy, orange juice, and simple syrup into the same pitcher. Add the fresh berries, if desired. Stir to mix.

3. Chill. Refrigerate sangria for at least 2 hours.

4. Serve. Serve in glasses filled with ice. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Sangria

  • Chill overnight for the best flavor. This allows the flavors to meld and the fruit to infuse the liquid.
  • Give each glass a generous serving of fruit. It makes for a fancy presentation, and the fruit is good to eat! 
  • Garnish it with more fruit! Elevate the look with an orange slice or a juicy berry atop each glass.

Recipe Variations

Want more? Try these dazzling variations. From holidays to summer soirees, there are many ideas for various occasions. 

  • White Sangria: Instead of red, use white wine. Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio are the types I recommend.  
  • Holiday Sangria: Add warming spices, cranberries, and orange slices.
  • Fall Sangria:Add apple cider, cinnamon sticks, Grand Marnier, and club soda.
  • Sparkling Sangria: Fancy a fizz? Top off your sangria with some sparkling water or champagne. Or try a bubbly soda, like ginger ale or Sprite, before serving.
  • Spiced Sangria: Add a cinnamon stick for an autumnal touch. Play with other cozy spices like cloves, ginger, and allspice for diverse flavors.
  • Berry Sangria Slushie: Need a summer sipper? Turn your sangria into a frozen boozy treat! You can try it with all kinds of flavors. I’m partial to using red wine, brandy, simple syrup, and frozen berries.
Glass of Red Sangria with fresh strawberries garnished with a green lemon wheel slice, slices of oranges in the  on a wooden board

Can You Make Sangria Ahead of Time? 

Yes! You can make sangria ahead of time. 

Mix all the ingredients in a pitcher, cover, and refrigerate the night before. Then, serve it the next day.

Not only is it great to prepare in advance, but I recommend it. Letting it sit allows all the flavors to meld. Plus, the fruit soaks up some of the booze.

As for extra garnishes, save those until ready to serve. 

Oh, and if you have leftovers, store them in the fridge. Cover and refrigerate the sangria for a maximum of two days. 

Although, I doubt it will last that long!

Red Sangria