The classic red sangria is a summertime cornerstone. Plus, it’s wickedly easy to make in batches since you really have to make it in a pitcher. It’s also refreshing while still having a vibe of drinking something substantial. This is just red wine peppered with fruit and jacked up with hard liquor, after all.
We’re going to look at a couple of different sangria recipes this summer. Before we get to those, we wanted to start with the classic version. That’s a mix of red wine (preferably from Spain), triple sec, Spanish brandy, orange juice, and sugar with a medley of fruit.
I adjust my recipe slightly to make it even easier to make while giving it a better texture. Instead of using orange juice and simple syrup, I use orange soda (I always use Jarritos Mandarin). You get the sweetness you need with a stronger orange flavor while also getting the tiniest touch of fizz. I also freeze my fruit beforehand to cool the drink down in the pitcher. And, I think, as the fruit thaws in the sangria, it releases more of its juices into the mix.
Okay, let’s get mixing!
Classic Red Sangria
- 1 bottle of red wine (preferably Rioja)
- 1/2 cup orange soda
- 1/2 cup Spanish brandy
- 1/2 cup triple sec
- 1/2 cup berry mix
- 1 apple
- 1 lemon
- 2 oranges
I’m using a standard Rioja. Any standard dry Spanish red will do. You don’t want to break the bank but stay well above the bottom shelf too.
When it comes to the fruit you use, that’s sort of up to you. The basics are apple, lemon, and orange. I’m using those plus a mix of berries: Blackberry, red currant, and blueberry. I’m also freezing all of these beforehand. It’s not crucial but I think it adds a little something extra.
As for the brandy, I’m going old school with Osborne Veterano Solera. It’s a classic, light brandy that’s full of the Spanish sun and really works well as a mixer. You should be able to snag a bottle for about $15.
What You’ll Need:
- Large pitcher
- Red wine glasses (I’m technically using a Spanish gin and tonic glass)
- Measuring cup
- Pairing knife
- Large barspoon
- Freezer proof container
- First, slice the apple, lemon, and one orange and then place in a container with the berries and place in the freezer for two to four hours.
- Slice orange wheel garnishes from the second orange.
- After the fruit is frozen, grab your pitcher. Add the wine, triple sec, brandy, and orange soda. Stir gently until blended.
- Add in the frozen fruit. Stir while tapping the fruit against the side of the pitcher to help “muddle” the fruit.
- Add four to six ice cubes to a red wine glass.
- Pour the sangria into the wine glass, making sure some fruit goes into the glass too.
- Garnight with the orange wheel.
I could easily just put a big ol’ straw right in the pitcher. This is fruity, soft, full of red wine vibes, orange-forward, and a little boozy.
Served over ice, it’s eye-roll-back-in-your-head refreshing and relaxing. It’s also super easy to make. Without freezing the fruit, this took all of one, maybe two minutes to prepare. You’re just pouring booze into a pitcher, stirring, adding fruit, stirring … party time!
The one thing about this sangria is this: It’s boozy. You’re drinking wine that’s cut with liqueur and liquor with a splash of orange soda that barely brings down that ABV. These can definitely catch up with you and all that extra sugar means a killer hangover. You’ve been warned.