Sangria, a wine cocktail with roots in Spain, delivers some serious party punch with a squeeze of fresh citrus and your favorite budget-friendly wine. Following a basic sangria recipe gives you room to improvise with your own tasty touch. Love berries? Throw some in. Tropical fruit fan? Add some pineapple to the pitcher. Prefer bourbon to brandy? Go ahead and substitute.
A crowd-pleasing basic sangria recipe generally calls for a bottle of red wine, but you can use white, rose, or even sparkling if you prefer. Feel free to keep it under $10, since you don't need to draw out specific character components in the wine itself, but make sure the wine tastes good enough to enjoy on its own. While you can serve sangria right away (use chilled wine and pour it over plenty of ice), it tastes even better after the flavors meld together in the refrigerator for a day. Plan ahead and make a pitcher in the morning to have it ready by happy hour.
- 1 750 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
- Optional: Lemon wheels, orange wheels
- Pour the wine into a pitcher and squeeze the juice from the lemon and orange wedges into the wine.
- Toss in the fruit wedges (try to remove seeds first, if possible) and add the sugar and brandy, stirring gently until the sugar dissolves.
- Cover the pitcher with plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight to marry the fruit and wine flavors.
- Add the ginger ale or club soda just before you serve it. Garnish with freshly cut lemon or orange wheels if desired.
You can build on this basic sangria recipe by adding or substituting ingredients. For example, you might opt for a shot or two of gin or rum instead of the brandy. Some people prefer to skip the liquor completely.
You can also add almost any fruit you like. Sliced strawberries along with diced peaches and a handful of fresh blueberries practically shout summer. 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. You can also add fresh limes or switch to a lemon-lime soda.
Best Wines for Sangria
A Spanish Rioja, such as tempranillo or garnacha or even a blend, makes a good choice as the base for sangria, but you can use a shiraz or a zinfandel too. In fact, you can choose almost any bottle of red wine you like, but it's best to start with a drier one. A white sauvignon blanc pairs well with tropical fruits if you decide to go that route.
More Sangria Recipes
Turn things up a notch with a party sangria loaded with red wine and citrus and topped with fresh or frozen raspberries. A white wine sangria has a lighter profile and is really nice for summer garden parties. A low-sugar sangria uses agave nectar as the sweetener.
You can find a sangria recipe for every occasion and taste. Explore all of your options and use them as inspiration for adding your personal twist to any recipe you find.