The easiest and only sangria recipe you will ever need. With only 5-ingredients, this red wine sangria is boozy, fruity and simple! The best part about sangria is that it’s such a flexible drink and great for entertaining! It’s so easy to make ahead of time.
I’m a huge fan of red wine sangria. I first had it in Spain, but I found my favorite local places to get sangria because I needed my fix! I love tapas and sangria is of course the perfect pairing! I always order the exact same thing: jamón croquettes, patatas bravas, and of course my favorite pan con tomate. Call me boring, but the only menu item I would ever switch around was whatever sangria I would choose! The inspiration for this easy sangria comes from my favorite Spanish tapas nights in New York City.
CLASSIC INGREDIENTS FOR A SANGRIA
There are four classic ingredients for any kind of sangria.
Use any kind of wine or champagne you’d like. Pick your choice from Red, White, Rosé, Champage, or Prosecco. I always choose a cheaper bottle of wine (about $10) to make a sangria. Because wine is the base of the sangria, you don’t want to go too cheap! My best advice is to choose a less expensive wine you already enjoy. Then add additional sangria ingredients to pair.
Best wine to use in a red wine sangria
The best red wines to use in a sangria are lower in tannins: Grenache, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, or Pinot Noir. Because I used a Cabernet Sauvignon that is higher in tannins, it tastes a bit more bitter when cold. I then add sweetener to balance it out.
Fruit infuses with the wine to give a fresh, fruity and sweet flavor. Use whatever fresh fruit is in season! The most common and simple fruit to add is oranges and apples. I like to slice one orange and squeeze another’s juice for more fresh fruity taste.
Great fruits to include are: oranges, apples, pears, peaches, berries, or blood oranges. A helpful tip for pairing wine and fruit is to see what ingredients are in the wines you choose.
While sweetener is optional, it’s a helpful ingredient to balance out the bitterness of the wine. For this red wine sangria recipe I used agave nectar. You can use white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or even a simple syrup.
For a real boozy (and good) sangria, you need to add a liquor. Depending on what type of wine you choose, I like to add Brandy, Cognac, Vodka, Tequila, Gin, or Triple Sec. I prefer to use Brandy or Cognac in red wine sangrias, and vodka, tequila or gin in white wine sangrias. There’s no one right way to do it! You can always omit liquor for a less boozy sangria and swap for ginger ale or sparkling lemon soda.
To add an extra orange flavor, I use Triple Sec in this red wine sangria. Cointreau is a great substitute for Triple Sec, but I find it more expensive.
TIPS FOR MAKING A RED WINE SANGRIA
- Make the sangria ahead. It tastes better when it has time to sit in the fridge – at least 30-minutes and up to a few days before. (If you leave the sangria for too long the fruit will suck up all the alcohol! I wouldn’t suggest more than 4-days in the fridge.)
- In a rush? No worries, place ice in individual cups and pour sangria directly over.
- Buy two oranges. Squeeze one and slice the other!
- Don’t go too cheap with wine. The wine is the base of the sangria, so choose a wine that is good enough to drink by itself. I like to choose a bottle around $8-12.