Basic Red Wine Sangria

red wine sangria
@MargJohnsonVA / Twenty20
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 cups (4 to 6 servings)
Ratings (342)

Sangria is the fresh fruit wine cocktail with roots firmly planted in Spain. This favorite drink delivers some serious party punch with a squeeze of fresh citrus and your favorite budget-friendly wine. The beauty of the basic sangria recipe is that it is as delicious as it is easy.

Also, sangria only gets better as you spice it up with your own tasty additions. It really is hard to add the "wrong" ingredient here, so think of your favorite fruits, spice, and liquors to add. Chill and enjoy!

What Goes Into the Basic Sangria?

For the crowd-pleasing basic sangria recipe, you'll need a bottle of red wine. Feel free to keep it under $10, since we are going for the juice in general and not trying to draw out specific character components in the wine itself. 

The recipe also requires a medium-sized orange and a large lemon. To finish it off, just add a touch of sugar, a bit of brandy, and some ginger ale. While you can serve sangria right away, it is always going to be better if you allow the flavors mellow together overnight. This really is the secret to making a great sangria, no matter which recipe you use.

What You'll Need

  • 25 ounces/750 ml. bottle of red wine
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)
  • 1 orange (cut into wedges)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 ounces brandy
  • 2 cups ginger ale or club soda

How to Make It

  1. Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and orange into the wine.
  2. Toss in the fruit wedges (try to remove seeds first, if possible) and add sugar and brandy.
  3. Chill overnight to marry the flavors.
  4. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving.
  5. If you'd like to serve it right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice.

Variations on Sangria

There are many ways that you can build on this basic sangria recipe.

For instance, you might prefer to skip the brandy and add a shot or two of gin or rum instead. Some people prefer to skip the liquor completely. While a few ounces of liquor don't make the punch that much stronger, omitting it will reduce the alcohol content slightly.

You can also add any sort of fruit you like. Look at the produce market and see what's in season right now, then pick a few favorites to match up. For instance, you might add sliced strawberries along with diced peaches and a handful of fresh blueberries. Raspberries with a few slices of kiwi make a nice combination for the red wine as well.

To kick up the citrus flavors of this sangria, add another sliced orange and lemon to the mix. Another option is to add a couple of fresh limes, squeezing in their juice as well. You can even switch to a lemon-lime soda if you like.

Choose Your Sangria Wine

When it comes to the red wine, you have many styles to choose from. You might go with a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Zinfandel, for example. Rioja reds and Shiraz make a really nice wine sangria as well. Again, be frugal. There's no need to spend a lot of money on a wine when it's going to be covered up in such a flavorful punch.

More Sangria Recipes

If you would like to turn things up a notch, our best party sangria is loaded with red wine and citrus themes and topped with fresh or frozen raspberries.

Looking for something sweet, simple, and white wine-based? Take a peek at our basic white wine sangria. It has a lighter profile and is really nice for summer garden parties.


Love the taste of sangria, but trying to cut down on the sugar? We have a tasty low-sugar sangria that uses agave nectar as the sweetener.

Keep in mind that there is a sangria recipe for every occasion and taste. Explore all of your options and use them as inspiration for adding your own personal twists to any recipe you find.