Ready to impress your guests with a mouth-watering Sangria?
A pitcher of Sangria is a perfect drink for a nighttime soiree or a day time get together with friends. It’s super-easy to make and to customize with your favorite fruits and wines.
You’ll find plenty of recipes online. But, what’s the best way to make yours a surefire hit?
Here’s everything about Sangria - what ingredients to use, and two delicious recipes to make it (Anthony Zhang’s favorites!)
We also have some excellent tips for the perfect Sangria and delicious suggestions for the wines you should use.
In This Article, We Will Cover:
- What Is Sangria?
- What Ingredients Go Into Sangria?
- The Best Sangria Recipes (Anthony’s Favorites!)
- Tips For Making Delicious Sangria
- The Best Wines To Use In Sangria In 2021
Grab a glass of your favorite red wine, and let’s get started.
What Is Sangria?
Sangria (means bloodletting in Spanish), is a drink packed with flavors, aromas and is commonly based on red wine.
Traditional Sangria is made with red wine, chopped fruit, spirits, and spices - all of which lend their aromas and delicious flavors to the drink!
You can make Sangria with your choice of wine and fruits, or you can buy premixed Sangria. As much as the premixed Sangria tastes great, homemade Sangria is always the best way to go!
It’s interesting to see how it all started. (Or skip right to the ingredients!)
The Origins Of Sangria
Although Sangria is associated with Spain, the exact origins cannot be pinpointed to an exact place or date.
Some believe it began with the Romans 2000 years ago when they fortified unsafe drinking water with wine, herbs, and spices. Some others trace its popularity back to England, Greece, and Spain in the 1800s.
At the 1964 World's Fair in New York, Spain featured the drink at their pavilion. Since then, Sangria’s popularity has only escalated.
Over the years, Sangria has been adapted to suit individual tastes, wine taste and style, and the availability of fruits.
Today, the European Union law (2014) defines Sangria as an “Aromatised Wine-Based Drink.” Under the EU laws, premixed Sangria is produced commercially as Sangria in Portugal and Spain. Other member states must advertise it as an “aromatized wine-based drink produced in …”
What Ingredients Go Into Sangria?
Here’s everything that goes into a traditional Spanish Sangria, including fruit and wine.
Wine is an essential part of the basic Sangria mix! Spanish Rioja wines like Tempranillo or Garnacha are a popular choice. You don’t always have to use a Rioja wine - you could also opt for your favorite Merlot or a Pinot Noir instead.
However, if red wine isn’t your favorite, you could always use white wine or a delicious rose instead - we will talk about the different wines you can use a bit later.
Brandy is the most common addition to a traditional Spanish Sangria.
But if your Brandy bottle is empty, or Brandy is not your favorite, you can substitute it with Cognac, triple sec, orange liqueur, Cointreau, or your favorite flavored liqueur.
- Fresh Fruit
The most common fruits to add are apples, lemons, and oranges. You can also add other fruits to compliment the wine you choose. You could also top up your Sangria with your favorite fruit juice (like orange juice) if you want to boost the fruity flavor.
- Cinnamon Stick
A cinnamon stick is a great addition to your drink! Cinnamon is a traditional spice for Sangria, and it perfectly compliments whatever you serve it with.
You can add as much sweetener to your Sangria as your palate can handle. Usually, you would add sugar or brown sugar to the pitcher. Maple syrup, honey, or a simple syrup could be used as a natural alternative in your Sangria mix.
Want to add some sparkle to your Sangria? Use a light soda, such as ginger ale, club soda, Sprite, soda water, sparkling water, or seltzer, to the mixture.
Ready to get started on a pitcher of Sangria?
The Best Sangria Recipes (Anthony’s Favorites!)
Here are two amazing recipes that you’ve got to try out!
1. Red Wine Sangria
This classic Sangria recipe is perfect to use with your favorite dry red wine!
What you need:
- 1 bottle of dry red wine
- ¼ cup of brandy (or your favorite liqueur)
- 2 Oranges
- 1 Lemon
- Brown sugar or sweetener
- Seasonal fruit - apple, pear, strawberry, white peach, and pomegranate
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Chilled sparkling water (if you want a fizzy Sangria)
- Pour wine and brandy (or liqueur) into a pitcher.
- Juice one orange and half a lemon and add juice to the pitcher.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. (Taste, then adjust.)
- Slice the remaining orange, lemon, and other fruits for the Sangria and put them into the pitcher.
- Add the cinnamon stick.
- Once all the ingredients are in, stir, cover, and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. (Quick Tip: If you are going to prepare your Sangria a day in advance, add the fruit just 30 minutes before serving.)
- Serve chilled, and if you want to add some bubbles, a splash of chilled sparkling water or lemon lime soda.
Also read: Do you want to find out how many Calories Are In A Glass Of Red Wine?
2. White Wine Sangria
This white sangria recipe will help you cool down on those hot and sticky summer days!
What you need:
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 1 lemon cut in half
- 1 ripe peach
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/2 cup halved green grapes
- 3 basil sprigs
- Thinly slice one of the lemon halves, and juice the other half (2 tablespoons.)
- Place peach wedges, raspberries, lemon slices, grapes, and basil in a large pitcher.
- Add wine and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and stir gently.
- Refrigerate and stir occasionally.
- Wait for the mixture to chill and for the fruit to sweeten the wine.
- Chill up to 3 hours before serving.
Quick Tip: If you want to add a zingy element to your Sangria, garnish with lemons, cucumbers, or herbs.
Apart from these two amazing recipes, you could even try out delicious recipes using interesting ingredients like apple cider!
And, here’s something to make serving Sangria at your party guilt-free: Although it looks sinful, it has all the goodness of calcium, healthy carbohydrates, potassium, and vitamin C!
Tips For Making Delicious Sangria
Here are five excellent tips to help you make the best Sangria every time.
- Sangria Makes Good Wine Great
Sangria does not make bad wine good. When you are choosing a wine, pick one that you enjoy on its own.
- Chill The Sangria Before Serving
If you’re going to serve fresh Sangria, make sure you chill it for at least 30 minutes. If you can refrigerate it for 24 hours to let the juices mix, even better. Remember to add the fruits 30 minutes to an hour before to let them soak before you serve.
- Don’t Use Ice
Sangria should be served chilled. Don’t serve it with ice cubes as this will dilute the juice, and the Sangria will lose all its wonderful flavors.
- Uniform Slices Work Best
Not only will it look aesthetically pleasing, but it will help balance the flavors of fruit, juice, and wine in every glass.
- Choose Fruits To Compliment The Wine
Take a peek at the aromas and flavors of the wine and choose fruits, or juice, to complement that - not the other way around.
We’ve handpicked the best wine styles for making Sangria, along with 16 wine recommendations for you!
The Best Wines To Use In Sangria In 2021
Garnacha is a great red wine to use for red Sangria because it showcases great red fruits and has excellent acidity.
A. 2016 Tardieu-Laurent Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Speciale, Rhone France: $55
This divine red wine has layers of supple, ripe fruit, and has a lush and creamy texture. It has a lingering finish that treats the palate with notes of blackberries and raspberries.
B. 2015 Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus, Priorat DOCa, Spain: $309
This full-bodied Garnacha wine has impressive aromas of dark cherries, plums, clove, mineral, licorice, and fruit flavors - perfect for your red Sangria.
This is another fantastic Spanish red wine with robust flavors of black cherries, blackberries, and cola. Tempranillo wine also has a brilliant dark hue that will add delightful color to your Sangria.
A. 2012 Bodegas Hermanos Perez Pascuas Vina Pedrosa Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain: $75
This gorgeous red is a blend of 90& Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine, with its ripe tannins, will add unique spicy notes to your Sangria’s flavor.
B. 2015 Artadi Vina El Pison, Alava, Spain: $312
If you are looking for a wine packed with complex aromas to bring out the best in your Sangria - this is it. It has notes of red fruits, wild herbs, flowers, and subtle spices on the nose.
Whether you choose a Primitivo from Italy or a Zinfandel from California, this red wine will add delectable flavors to any Sangria mixture.
A. 2013 Turley Wine Cellars Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel, Howell Mountain, USA: $75
Boost the flavors of your Sangria with this Zinfandel and its firm structure and smooth texture. This 2013 vintage has concentrated aromas of black raspberry, blueberry, and black fruit.
B. 2018 Martinelli Jackass Hill Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, USA: $228
The Martinelli Zin is one of California’s most distinctive wines - a perfect wine for a classy Sangria. It has captivating aromas of sweet dried cherry, wildflowers, pine, mint, spice, and star anise.
This lesser-known Argentinian red wine will add unique flavors to your Sangria. Usually blended with other varietals, but on its own, Bonarda has fascinating flavors of raspberry and plum.
A. 2014 Finca Las Moras 'Mora Negra', San Juan, Argentina: $40
If you want to add a different spin to your Sangria, this Bonarda will do it. It has aromas of dark chocolate, smoke, and vanilla, and outstanding blackberry notes.
B. 2017 La Posta Tinto, Mendoza, Argentina: $15
This Argentine red has all the attractive characteristics of a typical Malbec, but the influence of Bonarda shines through. It has fabulous notes of cherries, chocolate, plums, spices, and raspberry compote.
Further reading: Ever wondered How Many Glasses Are In A Bottle Of Your Favorite Wine?
If you are looking for a refreshing Sangria that will cool you down on a hot sunny day, then a great German Riesling should be your first choice. This white wine has unique lemon flavors that you can pair with other citrus fruits.
A. 2011 Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel, Germany: $452
This Riesling is perfect for a Sangria on a hot sunny day. It has fantastic aromas of mint and mandarin. This wine has a terrific aftertaste of saffron and honey!
B. 2016 Malat Steinbuhel Riesling Erste OTW Lage, Kremstal, Austria: $43
This crisp, acidic white is perfect to pair with peaches in your Sangria mix. The aromas of ground herbs and fresh peaches are backed with nuances of orange zest, wildflower honey, and pineapple.
A Torrontes white wine with a medium body and floral aromas is a great option for chilled Sangria and will tantalize you with every sip.
A. 2016 Dieter Meier Ojo de Agua Puro Torrontes, Cafayate, Argentina: $19
This wine is a stunning pairing for a white wine Sangria. It has outstanding notes of sweet pineapple syrup, preserved lemons, fruit, and apricots.
B. 2010 Dominio del Plata Susana Balbo Late Harvest Torrontes, Mendoza, Argentina: $41
This full-bodied white has aromas of jasmine, rose, lemon, honey, and spices. The flavors burst open with playful citrus crust, invigorating juicy grapefruit, and pear, and are backed with divine honey tones and slight salty minerality.
7. Pinot Gris
If a sweet Sangria is what you are looking for, this amazingly sweet white wine from Alsace is perfect. It has a naturally sweet flavor and lovely aromas of tropical fruit, apricot, and ripe peach.
A. 2016 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl, Alsace, France: $65
This delightful white wine has unique pure and fresh fruity aromas of white fruit and lemons. This wine is powerful and concentrated but has a delicate sweetness that plays on the palate.
B. 2002 Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Altenbourg Selection de Grains Nobles, Alsace, France: $253
This delicious Pinot Gris will add plenty of sweetness to a Sangria. It has aromas of honey, gingerbread, and sweet candied fruit. It offers a palette of guava, honey, and candied pears, and a lingering finish of honey and vanilla.
8. Sauvignon Blanc
Want a fresh and tropical touch to your white Sangria? Then Sauvignon Blanc wine is the way to go.
A. 2014 Alphonse Mellot Sancerre 'Edmond', Loire, France: $72
This 2014 vintage is 100% Sauvignon and has a majestic grassy bouquet backed by honey and brioche. Flavors of lime, vanilla, and muscat grapes play on the palate - just right for your white Sangria.
B. 2017 Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Neore, Loire, France: $248
Clos la Neore is just one of the famous Sancerres with aromas of citrus fruit, pineapple, and white fruit. It has a pure, ethereal, and perfectly balanced palate.
Now, if you are running out of time, there’s always the option of buying premixed Sangria. Some good examples are the Lolea No. 1 Sparkling Red Sangria or the Florida Orange Groves Winery Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria.
Or, you can buy most of the wines we saw above from boutique wine stores or online portals and mix your own Sangria.
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A Sangria to Ring in the Festive Season!
Whether you make a traditional Sangria with a Spanish Rioja or choose to spike it up with your own flavors - Sangria is always a party favorite.
Remember, the most crucial ingredient to any Sangria is the wine that you choose! Start by trying a few of the wines we’ve suggested.
And, if you’re looking to start a high performing wine investment portfolio while you sip on your spin of Sangria, don’t think twice about doing it via Vinovest!
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