Just like they make in Spain, this Sangria Wine cocktail has red wine, brandy, and fresh fruit like oranges, apples, and pears. Make a large pitcher for your next party!
When I was in high school I spent time in Spain as an exchange student. There were many things I ate and drank for the first time during the months I was there. Being a kid from Iowa I had never before had raw oysters, figs, or artichokes—the figs I loved, the oysters not so much.
As a 16-year-old I had certainly never tried the multitude of red wine cocktails enjoyed by many Spaniards. The Kalimotxo (red wine and Coke) and Sangria are the ones I remember drinking most often. The Kalimotxo was what we had out at the club and Sangria was often enjoyed at home or in the cafe on a Sunday afternoon.
My host parents would order a pitcher of sangria and a few snacks at this little restaurant on the beach. (also the same place I tried that dreaded first oyster) and we would sit and relax and soak up the sun the way Spaniards are true experts at.
Now that party season is coming around again, I think it’s a great time to revisit sangria. It is the perfect punch to make for a party. The alcohol level is relatively low and the fruity flavors go great with lots of different appetizers from spicy marinated olives to salty chips.
What Is Sangria Made Of?
The classic red sangria recipe has a few simple ingredients and is really easy to make. All you need is wine, fresh fruit, brandy, an orange liqueur like triple sec, and some type of citrus flavored soda or sparkling water. There are many variations on this combination but for the true taste of an authentic Spanish sangria, stick to these simple flavors.
- Red wine. To keep it traditional choose a Spanish red wine like Garnacha (aka Grenache), Tempranillo, or Rioja wine.
- Brandy. Or a similar liquor like cognac.
- Apples. Use a sweeter variety of apple like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady.
- Pears. Make sure the pears are ripe but still firm so they don’t turn to mush.
- Oranges. Juicy Valencia oranges work great here.
- Sparkling water or club soda. I opted for orange-flavored sparkling water instead of an orange-flavored soda like San Pellegrino because I don’t like my sangria too sweet.
- Orange liqueur. I’m using Cointreau.
How To Make This Recipe
Combine wine and liquors. Pour wine into a pitcher. Add brandy and Cointreau.
Add fruits. Stir in apples, pears, and oranges. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least an hour.
Serve! Take out of the fridge, add sparkling water. Spoon some fruit into each glass, add ice and pour sangria over the ice.
What Other Kinds Of Fruit Can I Use?
This is a very basic recipe that can be spun in a million different directions. You can use a lot of different fruits, the best is whatever is in season. Like strawberries in the spring, peaches and berries in the summer, grapes and figs in the fall, and more citrus like lemons and limes in the winter.
I’d like to add spices. What should I use? Stick to warm spices that are large enough no one is going to swallow them like cinnamon sticks and star anise.
Can I use other kinds of wine? Sure! Use white wine or rosé that works, especially in the hot summer months. If you can’t find the Spanish varietals try using Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon.
If You Like This Recipe, Try:
- Apple Blackberry Hard Cider Sangria
- Sangria Marinated Shrimp Skewers
- How To Make A DIY Chambord Sangria Bar
- The Best Paloma Recipe
- Spicy Raspberry Margarita
- Cucumber Mezcal Margarita
- Super Easy Spicy Margarita
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