Best Sangria Recipe

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Best Sangria Recipe

How to Make the Best Sangria

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a pitcher of sangria on a lazy summer afternoon. This summertime favourite has been a hit for many years around the Saturday lunch table. It originated from the tables of Spain and Portugal – “sangria” is derived from the Spanish for “blood,” “sangre” in reference to the drink’s deep red colour.

Will the Real Sangria Please Stand Up?

These days, anything goes in the making of sangria. The traditional combination of red wine, fruit, brandy and sweeteners has been tinkered with other the years, giving rise to all kinds of interesting and tantalizing variations. The overall flavour of the sangria is wholly dependent on the type of wine you use. It is traditionally flavoured with citrus fruits, namely lemon and orange. However, these days you can add the whole fruit basket. Kiwi, raspberry, strawberry, melon, apple pineapple and even mango have given new complexities to the traditional sangria. It is also usually diluted with soda water, but others have found enjoyable flavours through additions of ginger ale, Sprite and 7up.

The recipe

How, then, to make the original, classic sangria? Thankfully, it is very easy to put together and can be prepared will in advance. This particular recipe combines the basic classic sangria formula with a couple of contemporary nuances. Not only has this proven to be a hit at dinner tables and parties all over the world, but has also managed to convert a few people who profess to not being “into” wine.

The first step is to select the wine you want to use. Remember that the better the quality of your wine, the more delectable your sangria will be. The classic recipe calls for a red wine. If you want sweeter, softer flavours, try a Merlot. Drier and zestier sangrias love a Shiraz. You can also use Cabernet Sauvignon or a good Rioja red.

Other basic ingredients include:

–        the wedges of one lemon

–        the wedges of one orange

–        two tablespoons of sugar

–        30ml of brandy

–        Two cups of ginger ale, or if you prefer, soda water

Pour the whole bottle of wine into large pitcher. Then, squeeze in the juices from the lemon and the orange, taking care to not let any pips fall in. Discard the wedges. Pour in the sugar for sweetening, as well as the brandy, and place in the fridge to chill overnight. Before you serve the sangria to your guests, pour in the ginger ale and give the whole thing a good stir.


Once you’ve gained some confidence with your sangria-making expertise, explore some variations. Try a fruity white wine sangria (famous around regions of Southern Spain) called a sangria blanca. This works well with additions of peach and nectarine. Areas of Portugal love this recipe, with additions of cinnamon for extra zing.

It’s also possible to give your sangrias an extra punch by adding extra spirits. How about complimenting the brandy with a cheeky shot or two of triple sec, rum or gin? These party sangrias can also be enhanced through additions of frozen berries and lashes of fresh lime juice.