Learn how to make my Dad’s famous red sangria recipe! Made with red wine, fresh fruit and brandy, this traditional sangria recipe is easy to make and always a hit at parties!

I’ve been making this recipe for over a decade, and my friends can’t get enough of it! Sipping on a glass of this sangria on a warm summer day is pure heaven! Pair it with grilled meats at a backyard BBQ, your favorite Mexican food or Spanish tapas!

Red sangria in glasses and pitcher

Nestled in a narrow alleyway in the middle of Barcelona was an incredible little tapas restaurant with the best sangria! It was fruity and flavorful, but not too sweet. It reminded me of my Dad’s famous sangria recipe that he’s been making for years!

Classic Spanish sangria is made with red wine, fruit, a little sugar and brandy. Once all of the ingredients are combined, they allow the sangria to sit for a few hours, usually overnight. This allows the fruit to soak up the wine and flavor the sangria.

Sangria is a great, inexpensive big batch cocktail to make for a crowd. No need to purchase an expensive bottle of wine, an inexpensive bottle of dry red wine will do the trick!

Ingredients for red sangria

What You’ll Need

  1. Large bowl or pitcher
  2. Muddler
  3. Fresh orange and lemon
  4. Sugar
  5. Dry red wine
  6. Brandy
  7. Triple Sec – also known as orange liqueur
  8. Orange juice – preferably fresh squeezed
  9. Club soda, sparkling water or Sprite
  10. Ice
Collage of images showing how to make red wine sangria

How to Make Sangria

  1. Add orange and lemon slices to the bottom of a large pitcher or bowl.
  2. Sprinkle sugar over the fruit slices, then use a muddler to muddle the sugar into the orange and lemon slices.
    • Note: muddling is the process of mashing fruit, herbs or spices in a cocktail to bring out the flavor. If you don’t own a muddler, the back of a spoon will also work!
  3. Add red wine, brandy, triple sec and orange juice to the bowl or pitcher. Stir to combine.
  4. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
    • Quick tip! The longer sangria sits in the refrigerator, the more the wine soaks into the fruit. I recommend refrigerating the sangria for at least 2 hours before serving, but preferably overnight.
  5. When ready to serve the sangria, pour it into a glass filled with ice and top with club soda.
sangria poured into glass from pitcher

What is the best wine to use?

Dry red wine is preferred over sweet red wine when making sangria. The fruit and added sugar will sweeten the sangria. Using a sweet red wine can make the sangria too sweet.

I prefer tempranillo, a delicious Spanish red wine, or cabernet sauvignon, as they’re on the dryer end of the red wine spectrum. But a pinot noir or syrah can also be used.

Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I make this recipe sweeter? Yes, I recommend adding more sugar, just 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until you reach your desired level of sweetness. You can also top the sangria off with sprite instead of club soda for an added sweetness.
  • What about other sweeteners besides sugar? You could also use honey, maple syrup or agave syrup as a natural sweetener, instead of sugar.
  • What other fruit can I add to sangria? Diced apples are also commonly found in sangria and once they soak up all of the wine, they make a delicious, boozy snack! You can also throw in fresh or frozen berries, diced pears or grapes. You’re basically making “wine punch” here, so feel free to toss in any of your favorite fruits!
  • Do I have to use brandy and triple sec in the recipe? While I do recommend using both, if you don’t have one or the other on hand, you can replace the brandy with additional triple sec, or vice versa. You can also use cognac instead of brandy and Grand Marnier instead of triple sec.
  • How far in advance can I make the sangria? You can make this sangria recipe up to 48 hours before serving it. Once again, the longer the fruit sits in the booze, the more it enhances the flavor of the sangria! This is one drink that you can make ahead of time and it will only keep getting better and better!

Throw a Spanish tapas party!

Pair this sangria with Spanish olives and cheese, Bacon Wrapped Dates, Patatas Bravas and Spicy Chicken and Chorizo Paella. You’ll feel like you’ve taken a quick trip to Barcelona!

Red sangria in glasses and pitcher with oranges

Looking for more easy sangria recipes?

Try these 5 favorites!

  1. Lemon Berry Prosecco Sangria
  2. Cranberry Apple Sangria – the BEST fall sangria recipe!
  3. White Wine Peach Frozen Sangria
  4. Honey Apple Rose Sangria
  5. Grapefruit Watermelon Sparkling Sangria
Red sangria in glasses and pitcher with sliced oranges
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Red Sangria

Learn how to make my Dad’s famous red sangria recipe! Made with red wine, fresh fruit and brandy, this traditional sangria recipe is easy to make and always a hit at parties!

Ingredients

  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 bottles dry red wine, 750 ml each – preferably tempranillo or cabernet sauvignon
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ¼ cup triple sec
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 cup club soda, chilled
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  • Add orange and lemon slices to the bottom of a large bowl or pitcher.
  • Sprinkle sugar over the fruit slices, then use a muddler to muddle the sugar into the orange and lemon slices.
  • Add red wine, brandy, triple sec and orange juice to the bowl or pitcher, mix well.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve, I recommend a minimum of 2 hours or up to 12 hours.
  • When ready to serve the sangria, pour it into a glass filled with ice and top with a splash of club soda.

Notes

  • Muddling: If you don’t have a muddler, the back of a spoon will work just fine.
  • Sweeteners: agave syrup, maple syrup or honey can be used instead of sugar as a natural sweetener. To make this sangria sweeter, add 1-2 tablespoons of additional sweetener at a time until you reach your desired level of sweetness.
  • Fruit: other fruits that can be added to sangria include diced apples or pears, fresh or frozen berries, or grapes.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 193kcal (10%)Carbohydrates 11g (4%)Protein 1g (2%)Fat 1g (2%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Sodium 12mg (1%)Potassium 232mg (7%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 7g (8%)Vitamin A 36mg (1%)Vitamin C 14mg (17%)Calcium 9mg (1%)Iron 1mg (6%)
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