Whenever sangria is involved, it's a party.
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Sangria is a party in a pitcher. It only requires a few minutes of prep work to create this instantly-festive wine punch. Sangria is refreshing, elegant, and so incredibly easy to make. Learn how to make classic red wine sangria, plus get recipes and inspiration for fun variations on this classic summertime drink.

What Is Sangria?

Sangria is a type of alcoholic punch originating in Portugal and Spain. It most commonly contains some mixture of red wine, chopped fruit, liquor, fruit juice, and sparkling water that is served chilled. But the best part about sangria is there's no one right way to do it. The combinations are truly endless. We'll teach you how to make the more traditional red wine version, but we'll also give you some fun sangria variation ideas.

The Best Ingredients for Sangria

1. Wine

Wine is the basis for this summertime punch, so choose one that you would enjoy on its own, but don't choose one that's too expensive. Sangria is the perfect way to dress up a bottle of cheap wine.

For a Spanish red wine sangria you'll want to choose a wine that's fruity and not too acidic. Some good options include: Garnacha, Rioja, Pinot Noir, Malbec, or Merlot. Avoid high-tannin wines like Cabernet Sauvignon.

2. Fruit

Fruit is not only going to add fresh summer flavor to your sangria, but it's also going to make for a beautiful presentation in your pitcher or punch bowl. That means you'll want to choose sturdy fruits that will last a while without disintegrating. Some good options include: oranges, apples, strawberries, peaches, pineapple, pears, and lemons.

3. Spirits

If you're looking to make your sangria a true cocktail, you'll of course need to add liquor. Brandy is the most popular choice, but some also use fruit schnapps, rum, or cognac. You can also lower the alcohol content by diluting the sangria with some club soda, or skipping the liquor all together.

4. Sweetener

To round it all out, you can use a sweetener. Some may choose to forego this step, it simply comes down to personal preference. Natural sweeteners like maple syrup, sugar, agave nectar, or simple syrup do best at balancing out sangria without over-sweetening.

How to Make Sangria Step-by-Step

Once you have your preferred ingredients in place, here's how to bring them together for the perfect red wine sangria. This Classic Spanish Sangria from Allrecipes community member Lisa is not diluted with carbonated beverages such as club soda. However you can always top it off with a little to lighten it up. This recipe yields six servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, chilled
  • 1 lime, chilled
  • 1 orange, chilled
  • 11/2 cups rum or brandy, chilled
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine, chilled
  • 1 cup orange juice, chilled
  • Club soda to taste, chilled (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Before getting started, make sure all ingredients (except sugar) are chilled.
  2. Slice the fruit into thin rounds and place in a large glass pitcher (like this Amazon best seller).
  3. Pour in the rum or brandy, and the sugar. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  4. When you're ready to serve, use a wooden spoon to lightly crush the fruit. Stir in the wine and orange juice.
  5. Top if off with club soda if desired.

Sangria Variations

While the recipe above is considered the "classic" way of making sangria, sangria is more of a loose formula than a stringent recipe. There are so many ways to customize sangria to your tastes. Here are just a few:

Berrylicious Frozen Sangria Slush

Berrylicious Frozen Sangria Slush
Photo by Buckwheat Queen
| Credit: Buckwheat Queen

It's sangria, but frozen. This method is even easier than the more traditional sangria method.

White Peachy Sangria

White Peachy Sangria
Credit: AllrecipesPhoto

Moscato replaces red wine for a lighter, peachier, summer sangria. 

Sunset Sangria

Sunset Sangria
Sunset Sangria | Photo by Jenngrum

Warm weather means rose on the patio. Now you can have it in your sangria too.

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