How to Make Our Favorite Red Sangria

Check out our favorite red sangria recipe! You’ll love this classic sangria, made with dry red wine, seasonal fruit, and brandy (optional). Jump to the sangria recipe or read on for our tips on how to do it.


What is sangria?

Sangria is a type of wine punch made with wine, fruit, some brandy, sugar, and sometimes an extra splash of something fizzy (like sparkling water). Most often you will see sangria made with red wine, but you can also use white wine (called white sangria) and even rosé wine.

We already have two white wine sangrias on the blog (check out our peach white wine sangria and this extra fruity sangria). We love both of these sangria recipes, but thought it was time to share a more traditional Spanish sangria with you.

Sangria ingredients

As I mentioned earlier, sangria is essentially a wine punch and like most punch recipes, feel free to play around with the ingredients, especially when it comes to fruit. .

Sangria is perfect all year round. Use peaches and berries in the summer months, then apples and pears in the fall or winter. You can even use frozen fruit if you only have access to it.


Here’s what we’ll use to make a delicious pitcher of sangria:

red wine — For the best red sangria, we recommend a dry red wine, preferably from Spain. Look for Tempranillo, Garnacha (aka Grenache), or a label that includes Rioja (Adam’s favorite as it tends to have a bit more oak). You don’t have to break the bank with your wine of choice; I personally choose anything between $15 and $20.

brandy — The first thing we wanted to check when trying this sangria recipe was whether or not cognac is necessary. We don’t really cook with it or drink it at home very often, so why would I buy a whole bottle? Well, we discovered that. The brandy makes the sangria taste and smell more aromatic, and you don’t have to use the most expensive bottle (not even close). We used St. Remy VSOP, which was under $15, and while I wouldn’t drink it near a fire or anything, we were very pleased with the results when we added it to the sangria. [We also use brandy to make our white wine sangria as well as these hot toddies]

However, you can also make sangria without brandy. So if you don’t want to buy the extra bottle, skip it, the sangria tastes good even without brandy. You can also substitute another liqueur for the brandy (Triple Sec and Grand Marnier are popular choices).

orange and lemon juice — We love the addition of freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice to sangria. I even used a Meyer lemon instead of a regular lemon and loved it!

sweetener — I’m a big fan of dry red wine, but I also like a bit of sweetener in my sangria. You can use brown sugar (our favorite), plain syrup, maple syrup, and even honey. Just add as you like.

seasonal fruits — As I mentioned before, you can tailor your sangria to the time of year you are in. It’s summer right now, so we have access to fragrant peaches and strawberries. If it were fall I would probably add apple and pear slices.

the cinnamon stick — After researching the more traditional Spanish sangria, we noticed that a cinnamon stick kept popping up in the ingredients list. After adding it to one of our reviews, we quickly realized why. Adds a nice sweet spice. Highly recommended!

sparkling water or soft drink — Although adding some sparkling wine to your sangria is entirely optional, I love it. Adam prefers his sans. So we make the pitcher with sangria, and then let our friends add a splash (or not) of cold sparkling water themselves.


How to make the best sangria

Sangria is very easy to prepare and only requires about 10 minutes of prep time. If you can open a bottle of wine and eat fruit, can you make sangria? So we do it:

  1. Mix a bottle of red wine with 1/4 cup of cognac, the juice of one orange and the juice of half a lemon.
  2. Sweeten the sangria with brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or plain syrup to taste.
  3. Add lots of chopped seasonal fruit and a cinnamon stick.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Sangria tastes better over time, so it’s perfect for making a few hours in advance.)

Easier cocktail recipes

  • Classic Rum Mojitos – This is our favorite recipe for white rum, fresh lime, and mint mojitos (perfect for serving a crowd).
  • Mimosas – My top tips for making mimosas! What better way to serve brunch than a fabulous mimosa recipe made with sparkling wine and orange juice?
  • Perfect Kir Royale Cocktails How to make the perfect Kir Royale cocktail with champagne and creme de cassis.
  • Easy Hot Toddies – How to make hot toddy with bourbon, brandy, rum or other dark liquor, lemon, honey and hot water. In addition, many suggestions for variations.

How to make our favorite red sangria

You’ll love this classic sangria, made with dry red wine, seasonal fruit, and brandy (optional). The brandy adds a fantastic flavor to the sangria, but you can omit it if you like. You can also substitute another liqueur (Triple Sec and Grand Marnier are popular choices).

makes 6 drinks

will need

1 bottle of dry red wine, see suggestions below

1/4 cup brandy

2 medium oranges

1 medium lemon

3 to 5 tablespoons brown sugar or sweetener of choice, see notes

1 1/2 cups chopped seasonal fruit (apple, pear, strawberries, peaches, or a combination)

1 cinnamon stick

Mineral water, cold, optional


    Pour the wine and brandy into a large pitcher.

    Squeeze one of the oranges and half the lemon, then pour the juice into the pitcher. Save the second remaining orange and lemon halves for later.

    Add 3 tablespoons brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved in wine, 15 to 20 seconds. Taste and adjust with more sweetener if needed. If using a liquid sweetener (like maple syrup), use a little less at first, taste, and then add more as needed.

    Slice the remaining half of the orange and lemon and add to the pitcher along with the other fruit and the cinnamon stick. Stir, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a day in advance to allow the fruit to infuse the wine.

    Serve cold (with or without ice cubes). Add a splash of cold sparkling water for a sparkling sangria.

Advice from Adam and Joanne

  • Red wine: For the best red sangria, we recommend a dry red wine, preferably from Spain. Look for Tempranillo, Garnacha (aka Grenache), or a label that includes Rioja (Adam’s favorite as it tends to have a bit more oak). You don’t have to break the bank for the wine you choose; we personally choose anything between $15 and $20.
  • Sweetener: We use regular brown sugar to make sangria and find that it dissolves nicely in the wine after about 20 seconds of stirring. Other options include regular sugar, simple syrup, honey, and maple syrup.
  • Prepare: Sangria can be prepared 1 day in advance (possibly a little more). Store covered in the fridge.
  • Nutritional Facts: The nutritional values ​​given below are estimates. We use the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, take a picture and use the hashtag #inspiredtaste. We love seeing your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutritional value per serving: Part 1 glass (1 of 6 servings) / calories 201 / total fat 0.2g / Saturated Fatty Acids 0g / cholesterol 0 mg / sodium 2.3mg / carbohydrates 16.9g / fiber 1.8g / total sugar 10.2g / protein 0.8g

AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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