Basic Red Wine Sangria Recipe

Basic Sangria with red wine

The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Chill: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 6 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
429 Calories
1g Fat
84g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 429
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 84g 31%
Dietary Fiber 13g 46%
Total Sugars 55g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 316mg 1,581%
Calcium 215mg 17%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 1115mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sangria is a wine cocktail with roots in Spain. It 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 sangria recipe generally calls for a bottle of red wine, brandy, citrus fruits, sugar, and soda for sparkle. You can use white, rosé, or even sparkling wines if you prefer. Feel free to pick up an inexpensive wine since you don't need to draw out specific character components in the wine itself. Just 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 at least 8 hours. Plan ahead and you will have a fantastic sangria ready to share with guests.

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“This is a great starter sangria that is waiting for your personal touch. Adjust the recipe by adding more sugar, brandy, or fruit to taste, or giving a new spin. The key to any great sangria is to chill it after mixing to marry the flavors, so plan ahead, and it will be fantastic.” —Colleen Graham

Basic Red Wine Sangria /Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

  • 1 orange, cut into wedges

  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle red wine

  • 1 to 1 1/2 ounces brandy

  • 2 cups ginger ale, or club soda

  • Lemon and orange wheels, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make basic Sangria with Red Wine

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. Add the sugar to a large pitcher. Squeeze the lemon and orange wedges into the pitcher.

    freshly squeezed orange juice in a glass pitcher

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the wine and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the brandy and stir.

    Red wine in a glass pitcher

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate for 8 hours or up to overnight to marry the fruit and wine flavors.

    red wine in a glass pitcher covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add the ginger ale or club soda just before serving. Garnish with freshly cut lemon or orange wheels, if desired.

    basic Sangria with red wine in a glass pitcher

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • You can make sangria as dry or as sweet as you like. Adjust the sweetness by your choice of wine, adding or subtracting sugar, and your choice of fruit. For drier sangria, use club soda instead of ginger ale.
  • Sangria can be served over ice, if you prefer. On hot days, it keeps the drink well-chilled and a little dilution creates a slightly more refreshing drink.

Recipe Variations

  • You might opt for a shot or two of gin or rum instead of the brandy. Some people prefer to skip the liquor completely.
  • 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.
  • You can 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.

How Strong Is Red Wine Sangria?

Sangrias are a great way to add fresh flavor to wine without adding to its strength. Even with the brandy, all of the nonalcoholic ingredients balance it out to produce a drink that's about the same strength as a glass of light white wine. On average, this red wine sangria should mix up to 7 to 8 percent alcohol by volume (ABV).

Which Wine Is Better for Sangria?

Since sangria is a Spanish drink, a Spanish Rioja, such as tempranillo or garnacha or even a blend, makes a good choice as the base for red wine sangria. Shiraz or zinfandel are also nice options. In fact, you can choose almost any bottle of red wine you like, but it's best to start with a drier one. A sauvignon blanc pairs well with tropical fruits if you decide to use white wine.