Basic Red Wine and Brandy Sangria

Pitcher of sangria on table
Tony Robins/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Refrigerate: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 24 servings

Sangria is a Spanish red wine punch flavored with fruit and brandy. After its introduction at the 1964 World's Fair in New York, this punch became a hit in the U.S. Today, it is one of the most popular party drinks with more variations than you can possibly drink in a lifetime.

This recipe is for a basic sangria, made with a couple of bottles of red wine, a little brandy and orange liqueur, a few fruits, and club soda. It's easy and delicious, which is why it's perfect for a party. Plus, by making up a punch bowl, your guests can serve themselves while you take care of your hosting duties.

Ingredients

  • 2 (750 mL) bottles red wine
  • 2 ounces brandy
  • 4 ounces simple syrup
  • 3 ounces curaçao orange liqueur
  • 3 ounces orange juice (fresh)
  • 1 3/4 ounces lemon juice (or lime; fresh)
  • 32 ounces club soda
  • Garnish: orange slices
  • Garnish: lemon slices
  • Garnish: fresh or brandied peach slices

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large pitcher, mix the red wine, curaçao, brandy, fruit juices, and simple syrup. For extra flavor, add a few slices of citrus fruit. Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors marry.

  3. When ready to serve, pour the sangria into a chilled punch bowl with an ice block or ring.

  4. Add the club soda.

  5. Garnish with orange, lemon, and peach slices (or other seasonal fruits).

  6. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • This sangria recipe makes 95 ounces of punch, which is enough for 24 4-ounce servings. You will need a large pitcher (or bowl) to mix the base in overnight as that alone is 63 ounces.
  • For the citrus juices, make it very easy by simply squeezing the juice from one orange and either one lemon or lime into the pitcher.
  • Choose your favorite red wines for this sangria. You can even mix and match the two bottles. For instance, you might choose a jammy, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and a dry, light-bodied Pinot Noir.
  • You can also go the traditional route and choose Spanish wine. Rioja wines are famous and an excellent choice. They're typically a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha Tinta grapes, with lesser amounts of Graciano and Mazuelo. Any red made from one of these grapes alone is fabulous as well.
  • There's no need to spend a lot of money, either. Less expensive wines work well as the punch is so full of flavor that it will cover up any flavor notes that you may not enjoy otherwise.
  • To continue the authenticity, you can use a Spanish brandy such as Brandy de Jerez from southern Spain. However, at just a couple of ounces, the brandy doesn't have a huge impact on sangria. Feel free to pour any brandy you have in your bar.
  • For the orange liqueur, you can substitute triple sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau for curaçao. Avoid the blue curaçao as it will give a potentially off-putting tint to your sangria.

Recipe Variations

Sangria is one of those drinks that is only limited by your imagination. There are many sangria recipes for you to explore as well; some use white, rosé, or sparkling wine, some prefer tropical fruits or add fresh herbs, and others switch from brandy to another spirit. You can even transform this cocktail into a frozen ice pop! Use this (and other) recipes as inspiration to create your own custom sangria.

How Strong Is Sangria?

Despite the fact that two bottles of wine form the base for sangria, it's typically a very light punch. This particular recipe, for example, mixes up to an alcohol content of just 8 percent ABV (16 proof). That means you'll be serving a beverage that's stronger than beer but lighter than wine, and with a lot more flavor!

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