Sangria

Learn how to make authentic Spanish sangria with this easy sangria recipe.  It only takes a few minutes to prep, it’s easy to customize with your favorite wine and fruit, and it’s great for entertaining a crowd!

Sangria Recipe

Ever since we moved to Barcelona, I’ve been getting lots of requests for an authentic Spanish sangria recipe here on the blog.  But as it turns out — I’m so sorry to break it to you — locals here don’t really drink sangria!

I know, it was a major shocker to us too when we moved here.  But if you glance around a restaurant here in Spain, it’s almost always just the tourists who are the ones with pitchers of sangria on their tables.  When locals here are craving a cold drink, they usually opt instead for a glass of vermut (here in Catalonia) or sidra (in Asturias) or tinto de verano (wine with lemon soda down in the south) or kalimotxo (wine with Coke in the Basque country).  Granted, Spaniards do proudly take the credit for sangria, although the details of its origins are murky.  And my Spanish friends also made sure to note as I was writing this post that they do occasionally make a batch of sangria at home in the summertime, especially when they’re looking for a cheap and easy way to provide drinks for a crowd.  But in the entire time that we’ve been living in Spain, we’ve been served sangria a grand total of one time.  So…there’s that. 😅

Still, even if it is admittedly more of a touristy thing here, I love making sangria this time of year!  I’ve long said that it’s my go-to cocktail for summer entertaining, especially since it’s so easy to make (less than 10 minutes or prep), relatively affordable (and a great use for inexpensive wine), completely customizable with your favorite ingredients (hello, summer fruit season), and always tastes so light and refreshing and summery (y-u-m).  Oh and bonus, it’s easy to prep hours in advance and always looks so vibrant and gorgeous in a pitcher.  And in my experience, it’s always a hit with a crowd.

So if you are interested in learning how to make authentic sangria, I thought I would continue our Spanish recipe series today and show you the way that it’s prepared here in Spain!

Fresh fruit for authentic Spanish sangria

Spanish Sangria Ingredients:

If you ask bartenders here in Spain how to make sangria, they will be the first to tell you that — technically — there is no standard way to make sangria.  It’s really just a wine punch, made with seasonal fruit, sweetener, a good splash of brandy, and possibly something fizzy added in.  But beyond that, the details are 100% up to you!  I’ve included lots of tips below for how to customize your own sangria recipe.  But as a starting place, here are the sangria ingredients that are used most commonly here in Spain:

  • Spanish red wine: I mean, as the world’s third largest wine producer, Spaniards would insist that you choose a decent Spanish red for your sangria.  (Rioja wine is the popular choice, which typically features garnacha and/or tempranillo grapes.)  But no need to splurge on an expensive bottle.  Sangria is the perfect way to gussy up any inexpensive or leftover wine that you might have on hand.
  • Brandy: This is the spirit most commonly added to Spanish sangria recipes.  But if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to sub in cognac or orange liqueur instead.
  • Fresh chopped fruit: The standard three you will see most often in Spain are oranges, lemons and green apples.  But as I mention below, feel free to also add in any extra juicy fruit that you might have on hand.
  • Cinnamon stick: Yep, cinnamon!  This was a fun surprise moving to Spain — there’s almost always a cinnamon stick floating in every pitcher of sangria here.
  • Sweetener: Feel free to add as much sweetener to your sangria you would like.  Sugar or brown sugar is standard here in Spain (melted into a simple syrup, with equal parts boiling water and sugar).  But feel free to use maple syrup or honey for a natural alternative.
  • Bubbles: Totally up to you if you would like to make your sangria a bit fizzy!  I prefer mine flat, but feel free to top your glasses off with a light soda (such as Sprite, La Casera or ginger ale) or sparkling water just before serving if you would like.

Sangria Pitcher

How To Make Sangria:

Homemade sangria couldn’t be easier to make.  Simply…

  1. Chop your fruit: Dice the orange, lemon and green apple into evenly-sized pieces.
  2. Stir everything together: Combine the diced fruit, wine, brandy, the juice of one orange, and a cinnamon stick together in a large pitcher.
  3. (Optional) Add sweetener: If you prefer a sweeter sangria, feel free to add in a tablespoon or two of sweetener at a time until the sangria reaches your desired level of sweetness.
  4. Cover and refrigerate: Pop the pitcher in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours before serving, in order to let those flavors meld together.
  5. Serve: Then serve the sangria over ice, topping off each glass with a splash of bubbly soda (or sparkling water) if desired.

Spanish Sangria Recipe

Sangria Recipe Variations:

As I mentioned above, the beauty of sangria is that it’s really more of a method than an exact recipe.  So just gather whatever ingredients you have on hand and customize a batch to your liking!  For example, feel free to…

  • Use a different wine: Red wine is traditional with Spanish sangria.  But a good Spanish white or rosé wine would also work great!
  • Use a different liqueur: If brandy isn’t your thing, cognac or orange liqueur (such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec) are also popular additions to sangria here in Spain.
  • Add different fruit: Sangria is the perfect use for leftover fresh or frozen fruit, so feel free to add in whatever you have on hand.  Any juicy fruits (such as citrus, berries, grapes, pineapple, mango, kiwi, etc.) would be delicious.
  • Add fresh ginger: If you would like to give your sangria a bit of a kick, muddle in a few slices of fresh ginger.

Sangria

Cheers, everyone!

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Sangria

Learn how to make authentic Spanish sangria with this easy sangria recipe.  It only takes a few minutes to prep, it’s easy to customize with your favorite wine and fruit, and it’s great for entertaining a crowd!

Ingredients:

  • 2 bottles Spanish red wine (Rioja wine is most popular)
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 2 oranges, one juiced and one diced
  • 1 green apple, diced
  • 1 lemon, diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • optional sweetener: simple syrup* or maple syrup
  • optional bubbles: lemon-lime soda, ginger ale or sparkling water

Directions:

  1. Add the wine, brandy, orange juice, diced orange, diced apple, diced lemon and cinnamon stick to a large pitcher.  Stir to combine.  Taste and add in a few tablespoons of sweetener, if desired.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  3. Serve the sangria over ice, topping off each glass with a splash of bubbly soda (or sparkling water) if desired.

*Simple Syrup: To make simple syrup, just combine equal parts sugar (or honey) with water.  Give the mixture a stir and heat until the sugar (or honey) has dissolved.  Then use immediately, or cover and refrigerate in a sealed container until ready to use.

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The BEST Sangria Recipe from Gimme Some Oven