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Refreshing Sangria Recipe to Get Your Summer Party Started

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Rich, fruity, and utterly refreshing, our simple Sangria recipe gives you everything you need to mix this classic punch at home, and bring the flavor of Iberia to your summer party or backyard celebration.

Sangria Recipe

With its gorgeous red hue, and deeply sweet, refreshing flavor, you know it’s party time when a jug or pitcher of Sangria is brought to the table! Our recipe is simple to mix together and gives you room to get creative and put your own little spin on this classic red wine and fruit punch.

What is Traditional Sangria?

Despite its popularity throughout Europe, America, and other regions, under EU law only beverages that come from either Spain or Portugal can be called ‘Sangria’ – today an ironically sinister name, meaning ‘bloodletting,’ for a drink so closely associated with fun, celebrations, and the summertime!

There really isn’t a specific traditional recipe for Sangria, as the beverage varies widely region-to-region in both Spain and Portugal. However, as a baseline, traditional Sangria is always a punch of red wine, traditionally Spanish Rioja wine, chopped fruit, with the fruits used typically native to the region, and additional sugar and juice to sweeten.

In addition, many Sangria recipes are either made more alcoholic with the addition of a spirit or liquor, such as brandy, or mellowed with a non-alcoholic beverage, such as sparkling water.

Sangria should always be served cold, and while we have done our best to honor recipes typical of the Iberian peninsula by using fruits such as oranges and nectarines, feel free to get creative and look to your fridge or fruit bowl for any leftover fruit you could potentially use.

Variations

Clericó – Essentially a Latin American cousin of Sangria, clericó is especially popular in the likes of Uruguay, and is typically a punch of chopped seasonal fruits, either red or white wine, sugar, and plenty of ice, drank during the searing summer months.

Sangria Blanca – A modern creation and in no way traditional, switching the red wine for a dry white wine and tweaking the chopped fruits accordingly will give you Sangria Blanca.

Non-Alcoholic – Known as Ponche de Sangria, in Spain and Portugal a non-alcoholic version for children’s parties is made, either by adding red berries or red food coloring with additional chopped seasonal fruits, and adding a soft drink instead of wine.

Recipe Ingredients

To make our refreshing Sangria recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Wine – a bottle of Rioja wine
  • Apple – 1 apple
  • Pear – 1 pear
  • Nectarine or Peach – 1 nectarine or peach
  • Oranges – 4 oranges
  • Lemon – 1 lemon
  • Cinnamon – 1 cinnamon stick
  • Sugar – 3 tbsp of caster sugar, or to taste
  • Brandy – 1/3 cup (80 ml) brandy, or to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Squeeze the juice from the lemon and three of the four oranges.

Step 2 – Add the juice a large jug or pitcher that holds at least 1.8 liters (64 oz).

Note: We squeeze the juice first (as opposed to many other recipes that add it last) because by adding the fruit to the juice as soon as you cut it, you’ll prevent the fruit (like apples and pears) from turning brown.

Step 3 – Add the cinnamon stick, caster sugar, and brandy to the juice and stir to start dissolving the sugar.

Note: Caster sugar has a finer texture than granulated sugar and it dissolves faster without needing heat. If you want to use granulated sugar and make sure it incorporates easily, you could create a simple syrup.

A simple syrup is simply equal parts of sugar to water heated on the stove over low heat for a few minutes until the sugar disolves fully. After that, cool down the syrup and refrigerate it, ready to use for any drink.

If you’re using simply syrup, you can also adjust the sweetness of the sangria when you’re ready to serve.

Step 4 – Cut the apple into small cubes and add it to the sangria pitcher.

Step 5 – Slice the orange and the lemon and then cut each slice into quarters. Add them to the sangria pitcher.

Step 6 – Cut the nectarine (or peach) into cubes and add them to the sangria pitcher.

Step 7 – Cut the pear into cubes and add the cubes to the sangria pitcher.

Step 8 – Add the bottle of the Rioja wine to the pitcher.

Step 9 – Mix everything well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Step 10 – Serve with ice and optionally, a touch of soda water.

Serving Suggestions

Pitcher – It’s so much easier to serve your Sangria in a pitcher, so that guests can help themselves. We opted for a pitcher with a handle and spout, but you can also serve it in a large jug or bowl with a ladle. This awesome Sangria pitcher, complete with a pinched spout, could also be a great idea for your party.

Ice – People are generally indifferent about adding ice to your Sangria or not. Adding ice will help keep the drink chilled for longer once it’s out of the refrigerator, but it can also dilute the strength of the drink. We opted for ice, but it’s up to you.

Glass – If you want to pull out all the stops, consider lemon or fruit wedges for your serving glasses, and lining the rim of the glasses with sugar or a little spice, such as cinnamon.

Additional Alcohol – There are plenty of spirits and liquors you can add to give your Sangria more strength. However, brandy and rum are typical go-to’s. Remember to add sparingly and taste, as you don’t want to lose the sweet, fruity notes of the drink.

Sangria is a feel-good drink, no matter how you prepare it. Just the mere sight of it indicates that summer is in full swing, and it’s guaranteed to put a smile on the face of everyone who tries it.

Sangria Recipe Card

Yield: 1 pitcher

Sangria

Sangria
Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • a bottle of Rioja wine (750 ml or 25 oz)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 nectarine or peach
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) brandy (or to taste)

Instructions

  1. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and three of the four oranges.
  2. Add the juice a large jug or pitcher that holds at least 1.8 liters (64 oz).
  3. Add the cinnamon stick, caster sugar, and brandy to the juice and stir to start dissolving the sugar.
  4. Cut the apple into small cubes and add it to the sangria pitcher.
  5. Slice the orange and the lemon and then cut each slice into quarters. Add them to the sangria pitcher.
  6. Cut the nectarine (or peach) into cubes and add them to the sangria jug.
  7. Cut the pear into cubes and add the cubes to the sangria pitcher.
  8. Add the wine to the pitcher.
  9. Mix everything well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  10. Serve with ice and, optionally, a touch of soda water.

Notes

Note 1: We squeeze the juice first (as opposed to many other recipes that add it last) because by adding the fruit to the juice as soon as you cut it, you’ll prevent the fruit (like apples and pears) from turning brown.

Note 2: Caster sugar has a finer texture than granulated sugar and it dissolves faster without needing heat. If you want to use granulated sugar and make sure it incorporates easily, you could create a simple syrup.

A simple syrup is simply equal parts of sugar to water heated on the stove over low heat for a few minutes until the sugar disolves fully. After that, cool down the syrup and refrigerate it, ready to use for any drink.

If you’re using simple syrup, you can also adjust the sweetness of the sangria when you’re ready to serve.

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Authors

  • Doina Johnson is a recipe developer and writer. Doina has been cooking for most of her life, and her style draws from many different influences. She cooked with her mother and grandma growing up in Eastern Europe, before adding modern, western influences to her style when living in the United States for about a decade. Then, she traveled full-time for several years, trying food in Europe, Asia, and South America, and bringing those influences into her own cooking. She strives to introduce passionate homecooks to world cuisine, generally by trying the food herself abroad and then recreating it at home and, at times, enlisting the help of local foodies and chefs.

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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