Best Traditional Red Sangria Recipe

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Make authentic Spanish sangria in just a few minutes with this easy sangria recipe. This simple sangria recipe is easy to customize with your favorite fruits and wine and is perfect for entertaining!

red wine sangria with cut apples and oranges in stemless wine glass

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Sangria is one of my very favorite summer drinks. What can be better on a warm day than combining your favorite fruits and wines together for a delicious wine punch? Drinking sangria with friends is the best!

sangria ingredients red rioja wine brandy orange juice apples oranges


There are many, many variations of sangria. Most common traditional sangrias will feature Spanish red wine, a sweetener, chopped fruit, and some add a sparkling drink as well.

chopped apples and oranges on wood cutting board for sangria
  • Spanish Red Wine Because traditional sangria originated in Spain, it calls for Spanish red wine. I usually pick a Rioja which is made from Tempranillo grapes. Because you are mixing the wine there is no need to opt for an expensive bottle though, it’s a great way to make drinks for a crowd affordable!
  • Brandy Traditionally brandy is added to the red wine and adds a little kick to the wine punch. If you don’t have brandy on hand, cognac or an orange liqueur such as Triple Sec would be a good substitute.
  • Chopped Fruit Most traditional recipes for sangria use oranges and apples but you can really get creative here! It’s a great use for any extra fresh fruit you have laying around.
  • Sweetener I like to use brown sugar to sweeten my sangria but you could also use white sugar, simple syrup, maple syrup, or even honey.
  • Sparkling Water or Soda I don’t personally add bubbles to my red wine sangria but if you prefer yours sparkling you can add sparkling water or soda such as ginger ale or Sprite to your pitcher before serving. This is also a good way to extend the servings when entertaining a crowd.

Step by step

  1. Chop the fruit into bite-size pieces and add to a large pitcher.
  2. Mix red wine, juice, brandy, and sweetener in the pitcher with the fruit.
  3. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to let the flavors combine.
  4. Serve the sangria as is or over ice. Add sparkling water or soda if desired.

Sangria Variations

  • Change the wine Customize your sangria by picking your favorite wines, like my rosé sangria or sparkling berry white sangria.
  • Change the liqueur While traditional Spanish sangria uses brandy, you can experiment with other liqueurs like Triple Sec, vodka, cognac, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier.
  • Add spices Cinnamon and ginger are great spices to add to a red wine sangria to change the flavor.
  • Change the fruit Use fresh or frozen fruit, any fruit that is juicy will add good flavor to the sangria recipe. Apples, oranges, lemons, mangos, peaches, berries, pineapple, and kiwi are all great options. If you’re using frozen fruit, let the mixture sit longer in the refrigerator to allow the fruit to thaw a bit.
red wine spanish sangria in stemless glass with chopped fruit apples oranges


What is the best brandy for sangria?

Traditionally you would choose a Spanish brandy but because sangria features so many flavors mixed together, you really cannot taste the brandy very much. Use what you have or choose an inexpensive bottle at the store.

Do you need brandy for sangria?

You can substitute Grand Marnier or Triple Sec for the brandy to get a similar taste or in a pinch you can omit it altogether.

Is sangria better the longer it sits?

Allowing sangria time to sit is imperative to let the flavors blend. Make the sangria at least 30 minutes before you would like to drink it but up to 4 hours ahead of time. If the sangria sits longer than 4 hours the fruit may start to break down and affect the taste negatively.

Do you pour sangria over ice?

Because sangria is made ahead of time it is often served poured over ice. You can also add a splash of sparkling water when serving as well.

You might also like these other sangria recipes:

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stemless wine glass with red wine sangria garnished with orange slice

Best Traditional Red Sangria Recipe

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5 from 5 reviews


Make authentic Spanish sangria in just a few minutes with this easy sangria recipe. This simple sangria recipe is easy to customize with your favorite fruits and wine and is perfect for entertaining!


Units Scale
  • 2 apples
  • 2 oranges
  • 750 ml bottle Spanish red wine (Rioja is most common)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  1. Chop the apples and oranges into small pieces. Add to a large pitcher.
  2. Add wine, juice, brandy, and brown sugar to the pitcher and stir to mix.
  3. Chill at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before serving.
  4. Serve or without ice, adding sparkling water or soda if desired.


  • Customize by changing the wine, liqueur, and fruit.
  • If you prefer sparkling sangria add sparkling water or soda such as ginger ale or sprite before serving.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 48 hours although it tastes best the same day.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: none
  • Cuisine: Spanish


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 189
  • Sugar: 16.2 g
  • Sodium: 6.5 mg
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.4 g
  • Protein: 1.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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