Low-Sugar Sangria Featuring Agave Nectar

Red sangria
Paul Poplis/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 12 servings

Sugar isn't for everyone and many sangria recipes include quite a bit of it. There is another option and the low sugar sangria recipe is ideal if you're looking to cut the sugar from this favorite wine cocktail.

Dietary restrictions for specific health reasons force many people to rethink their sugar intake. Others are simply looking to limit the amount of sugar they consume. Whether you fall into either of these groups and are looking to entertain for an uncertain crowd, this sugar-free sangria recipe significantly cuts the glycemic index levels.​

The key to cutting sugar without losing the sweetness is to use agave nectar instead of granular sugar. It's a simple substitution that allows you to enjoy fresh sangria without the worries. 


  • 1 (750 mL) bottle red wine
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)
  • 1 lime (cut into wedges)
  • 1 orange (cut into wedges)
  • 3/4 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 2 cups sparkling water (club soda)

Steps to Make It

  1. Pour the wine into a pitcher.

  2. Squeeze the juice from the lemon, lime, and orange wedges into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible).

  3. Add the agave nectar and stir well.

  4. Chill overnight.

  5. Add sparkling water or club soda, raspberries, and ice just before serving.


  • The Best Sangrias Need to Rest. If you'd like to serve the sangria right away, use chilled red wine and serve it over lots of ice. However, remember that the best sangrias are chilled around 24 hours in the refrigerator, which allows the flavors to really marinate and become one.
  • Choosing the Wine. There are a number of red wines to choose from and almost any will be fine in this Sangria recipe. Among the top recommendations are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja reds, Zinfandel, and Shiraz.
  • There is also no need to spend a lot of money on red wine for this (or any) Sangria. The fruity mix will take care of any subtle imperfections in your wine, so feel free to choose a budget-friendly bottle and save the really good wines for other purposes.
  • The Fruit. As with any sangria, feel free to substitute another fruit for the raspberries. Peaches, mangoes, other berries, and many other types of fruit make fantastic sangrias. Choose what is in season and even create your own custom fruit blend. The citrus fruits should remain, however, as they are essential to the Sangria base. Take the time to use fresh fruits as this will significantly improve your drink.

Recipe Variations

  • The Agave Nectar. Agave nectar is sweeter than regular white sugar. While this recipe has been adapted with this in mind, you may want to make further adjustments. This is particularly true if you choose a sweeter wine or play around with the fruits.
  • Begin with 1/2 cup agave nectar and stir the sangria.
  • Taste it and add more nectar (1 tablespoon at a time) if needed.
  • Stir and repeat until the sangria is sweet enough for your taste.