There is no better drink to enjoy during summer than a red sangria!
Traditional sangria is a cocktail made of Spanish red wine and a variety of fresh fruits and berries. Think of it as a fruit punch that has red wine and is infused for a few hours. This allows the taste of the wine to change depending on the types of fruit mixed in.
It’s the best beverage to cool down with whether you’re by the beach, at the pool, or winding down in the summer evening. If you’re having a few friends over dinner, why not try pairing it with this summer berries, candied almonds and goat cheese salad?
Grab some fruits, your bottle opener, and a bottle of red and let’s get started!
- Red wine – For example Grenache, Rioja, Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec, chilled
- Brandy – For a little more booze
- Sugar – To sweeten the sangria
- Fruit – Oranges, lemon, raspberries, green apple, blueberries, strawberries, plums
- Add wine and brandy to a tall pitcher. Be sure to check the capacity of the pitcher – it should be able to hold 750ml of wine, ½ cup of brandy, and remember you’re adding fruits which will also increase the volume of the liquid.
- Juice one of the oranges and half of the lemon. Then add the juices to the pitcher. Save the second orange and remaining lemon half for later.
- Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved into the wine. This should take only about 20 to 30 seconds for the sugar to dissolve.
- Dice the green apple and add the remaining orange and lemon half.
- Hull and cut the strawberries into quarters, and then slice the plums. (See expert tips on how to hull strawberries and slice plums.)
- Add all of the fruits to the pitcher.
- Stir, cover, and chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes. You can even chill it for up to a day in advance to give the fruit a chance to really infuse with the wine.
- When serving, fill each glass with ice, sangria and lots of the delicious fruits in each glass. Cheers!
Expert Tips and Tricks
What wine should I use for sangria?
First things first, you do not need to use expensive wine! Save that $100 bottle of aged red for a special occasion, because the fruits and sweeteners will just cover all those unique subtleties.
Now, traditional sangria calls for Spanish red wine. Grenache (or garnacha in Spain) has an alcohol content of 13.5% – 16%, and has hints of berries and cinnamon. Another great option for this sangria recipe is the cherry-like Rioja (ree-oy-yuh), with an alcohol content of 13.5% – 15%.
Non-Spanish alternatives like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec will also work just great, if you are not too particular about wine like I am. If you’re wanting to learn more about wine, my free e-book on wines hopefully will be a good resource! Cheers!
How do I cut the fruits up for sangria?
The fruits we use in our sangria mix will be going into our glasses, so they have to be bite-sized. Here are some tips you want to keep in mind when preparing the fruits:
- Green apples – These bright green fruits are best served dice. To do so, half the apple and remove the core. I then like to place it flat and dice it about a half inch thick.
- Strawberries – Gently pull the leaves off the strawberry. Then, with a paring knife, carefully core the top of the strawberry without removing any of the flesh.
- Plums – Place your paring knife down the middle to the seed and gently cut around the seed, like you would an avocado. Once the plum is halved, twist to open and carefully remove the seed. Then place it flat and slice it a quarter inch thick.
- Make sure to always wash the skins of fruits thoroughly. I like to soak my fruits in a diluted mix of a teaspoon of baking soda to 2 cups of cold water.
How long can I keep sangria for?
Sangria is best served fresh, after it’s had time to marinate all of the fruity flavors together. However, if you have any leftovers, keep it in the same large pitcher or in a glass jar, cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
Variations and Mix-ins
Can I make sangria without brandy?
The short answer is yes. Brandy, a liquor with 35% alcohol content, is usually added into sangria to make it a little more boozy. It can still be enjoyed without the brandy, but look – if you’ve had a crazy day, a boozy sangria is the way to wine down!
No brandy at home? Use alternatives like:
- Triple sec (an orange liqueur from France)
- Sparkling juice
- Club soda (you can also top your sangria off with this at the end to create a bit of fizz!)
Can I use other fruits in sangria?
Absolutely! Oranges, lemons, and green apples are fruits used in a traditional sangria. I’ve used seasonal fruits like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and plums because those remind me of summer and also work well with the acidity of wines. You can switch up your sangria by using pineapples, peaches, or cherries, as well.
Other variations to make sangria:
As you can probably see by now, there are endless possibilities when it comes to making sangria. Here are some sangria variations I recommend giving a try:
- Infusing red wine with a cinnamon stick
- Using white wine, rose, or moscato instead of red wine
- Sweetening the sangria by using maple syrup or honey instead of sugar
Have a happy sangria summer!
Red Summer Sangria
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine, such as Grenache, Rioja, Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec, chilled
- ½ cup brandy
- 2 large oranges, one freshly juiced + one diced
- 1 large lemon, ½ juiced + ½ diced
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ cup fresh raspberries
- ½ cup green apple, diced
- 1 cup blueberries
- 8 large fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2 red plums, pitted and sliced ¼ inch thick
- ice in each glass for serving
- Add wine and brandy to a tall pitcher.
- Juice one of the oranges and half of the lemon. Then add the juices to the pitcher. Saving the second orange and remaining lemon half for later.
- Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved into the wine, 20-30 seconds.
- Slice the remaining orange and lemon half and add to the pitcher along with all of the other fruit.
- Stir, cover, and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to a day in advance to give the fruit a chance to infuse the wine.
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, though best when fresh.
- Fill each glass with ice, sangria and ensure you get lots of the delicious fruits in each glass.