Easy Red Sangria

I love this traditional red sangria recipe with red wine and fresh fruit. This fruity summer cocktail is the best for entertaining, and since it gets better over time, it’s perfect for making ahead.

Best Red Sangria

Sangria is a deliciously fruity red wine punch with origins in Spain and Portugal. Our version isn’t too sweet, and the sangria-infused fruit at the bottom of the glass is so good! While we use red wine in this more traditional recipe, we have two more sangria recipes on Inspired Taste. See our peach white wine sangria or this fruity white sangria with riesling.

Feel free to get creative with the fruits you use. In the summer, go for fresh peaches and berries, while apples and pears are perfect in the fall or winter. Frozen fruits are a great alternative when fresh produce isn’t readily available. Use our recipe as a starting point and customize it to your liking!

The Best Red Sangria

Key Ingredients

  • Red Wine: I use dry red wine, preferably from Spain, for my red sangria. Look for Tempranillo, Garnacha (or Grenache), or a bottle labeled Rioja. You don’t need to spend a fortune (I usually choose a bottle between $20 and $25).
  • Brandy: Brandy is optional, but I like adding it because it makes the sangria more aromatic. You don’t need a fancy bottle (I used St. Remy VSOP in my photos, which was around $20).
  • Orange and Lemon: I always include the juice from one orange and half a lemon in my sangria. Then, I slice more of both fruits for the pitcher. The citrus adds a delicious and refreshing flavor.
  • Seasonal Fruit: I adapt my recipe depending on what’s in season. I love adding peaches and strawberries in the summer, while in the winter, I use apples and pears. I’ve also used frozen fruit like peaches, mango, and cherries with success!
  • Sweetener: Even though I prefer dry red wine, I like adding a bit of sweetness to my sangria. You can use brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or homemade simple syrup.
  • Cinnamon: I also add a cinnamon stick inspired by traditional Spanish sangria. I love the sweet spice and aroma it adds.
  • Sparkling Water: Lastly, when serving sangria, I offer chilled sparkling water on the side. I like adding a bit of fizz to my glass, but it’s entirely optional (Adam prefers his without).
Sangria with fresh sliced oranges, lemon and strawberries

How to Make the Best Sangria

Homemade sangria takes about 10 minutes to prepare. If you can open a bottle of wine and chop some fruit, you can make sangria! I combine one bottle of red wine with 1/4 cup of brandy, the juice of 1 orange, and the juice of half a lemon.

After a few stirs, I taste it and then adjust with a sweetener like maple syrup or honey. Finally, I stir in lots of chopped fruit and a cinnamon stick.

Sangria tastes better after some time in the fridge when the cinnamon and fruit have had a chance to flavor the wine. Two to three hours will do, but you can prepare sangria a day in advance.

Homemade Sangria with Sliced fruit and a cinnamon stick

Easy Red Sangria

  • PREP

You will love this classic sangria recipe with dry red wine, seasonal fruits, and brandy (optional). Brandy makes the sangria taste amazing, but you can leave it out if you prefer. You can also substitute with another liqueur (triple sec and Grand Marnier are popular choices).

Serves 6

You Will Need

1 (750ml) bottle of dry red wine, see notes below for suggestions

1/4 cup (60ml) brandy

2 medium oranges

1 medium lemon

3 to 5 tablespoons brown sugar or sweetener of choice, see notes

1 ½ cups sliced seasonal fruit (apple, pear, strawberries, peaches or a combination)

1 cinnamon stick

1 bottle sparkling water, chilled, optional


    1Add the bottle of wine and brandy to a tall pitcher.

    2Juice one of the oranges and half of the lemon, then add the juice to the pitcher. Save the second orange and the remaining lemon half for later.

    3Add brown sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved into the wine, 15 to 20 seconds. Taste and adjust with more sweetener if needed. If using a liquid sweetener (like maple syrup), use a little less at first, taste, and then add more as needed.

    4Slice the remaining orange and lemon half into thin slices, then add them to the pitcher. Add the seasonal fruit and cinnamon stick.

    5Stir, cover, and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to a day in advance to allow the fruit to infuse the wine.

    6Serve chilled (with or without ice). For a sparkling sangria, top with a splash of chilled sparkling water.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Sangria wine: We recommend a dry red wine, preferably from Spain. Look for Tempranillo, Garnacha (also known as Grenache), or a label with Rioja written on it.
  • Sweetener: We use plain brown sugar to make sangria and find that after 20 seconds or so of stirring, it dissolves nicely into the wine. Other options are simple syrup, honey, and maple syrup.
  • Make ahead: Sangria can be made one day in advance (possibly a bit longer). It should be covered and stored in the refrigerator.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1 glass (1 of 6 servings) / Calories 201 / Total Fat 0.2g / Saturated Fat 0g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 2.3mg / Carbohydrate 16.9g / Dietary Fiber 1.8g / Total Sugars 10.2g / Protein 0.8g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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6 comments… Leave a Review
  • Sandra June 10, 2024, 8:55 pm

    The kitchen is my favorite room in the house I love to look for recipes to try because cooking and baking is very relaxing for me, over the years I have learned a lot and it as paid off with my skills in the kitchen. You can learn something everyday if you apply yourself. I also like to see my friends and family enjoying my cooking and baking, they are also very willing to come over for dinner when I invite they over. I get a lot of pleasure just watching them enjoy the meal. Inspired Taste have a lot to offer just take some time to check out their blog and make something.

  • ElaineWagner June 10, 2024, 7:07 pm

    I think this sounds delicious .. Can’t wait to try it thanx

  • Robin Hart July 8, 2021, 11:19 pm

    Instead of sparkling water for fizz, I add Fresca. The grapefruity flavor is fantastic with the other citrus fruits!

  • Mary E Marler December 31, 2019, 4:44 am

    Thank you for yummy recipes and tips. Don’t cook much anymore so sure fired go to easy recipes are a treasure. Mary Elizabeth

  • Laurie W. June 29, 2019, 3:07 pm

    I was surprised that you don’t use brandy at home. My favourite drink is made with it and is a Christmas tradition. I’m talking about the best way to serve coffee. It is, of course, Spanish coffee. Brandy, creme de cacao,and triple sec (or any other orange liquor) is added to coffee and topped with as much whipped cream that I can put on. Originally, the rim of the mug is encrusted with sugar, but after 2 of these I just add more sugar to the coffee directly. After the 3rd one,I start keeping an eye out for Santa.

    • Adam June 29, 2019, 4:25 pm

      This drink sounds delicious and is another great use for Brandy. Thanks for sharing! We do use Brandy every once in a while for our white sangria and hot toddies.


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