Sangria is a cheap and easy drink to make at home. All you need is red wine, brandy, some carbonation, and fruits and you’ll have a delicious wine cocktail that’s just like fruit punch—for adults!
Want to skip the history lesson? Jump to the Recipe.
Sangria means blood in Spanish. Which is why I use blood oranges in mine if I can. (Regular oranges work just fine, though!)
The Spanish wine punch was introduced to the United States in 1964 at the World’s Fair in New York City. Since then, sangria seems to pop up on all wine cocktail lists each summer. And there are as many variations of sangria as there are Spaniards on the planet.
The base recipe for sangria is a dry red wine with some additives and fruit. That’s the one thing all these millions of recipes seem to have in common.
Having never been to Spain myself (yet), I can’t attest to the authenticity of this specific sangria recipe. I made it up when I needed a fancy adult beverage for a party at my parents’ house and I could only use what I could get out of their liquor cabinet.
Yes, as a grown adult, I raided my parents’ liquor cabinet. It yielded this adult fruit punch though, so everyone wins!
A lot of recipes will call for sugar, and/or muddling the fruits. If you want to keep this nice and easy, get the sugar from your ginger ale and the fruit essence from letting the mixture marinate before drinking. Plus the ginger ale adds bubbles!
(I learned in the process of making this that if you leave the brandy out and simply add ginger ale to the wine, you get another Spanish concoction called a tinto. This is also delicious.)
This is also a relatively cheap wine cocktail! The aptly nicknamed “2 Buck Chuck” house wine is back to $2 at Trader Joe’s and one bottle is all you need for this. I use their red blend, and who knows what the heck is in it (it doesn’t tell you the wine makeup on the label).
So for about $5 for a whole pitcher, you’re on your way to having a good time.
You can use just about any fruit you want in the mix. I like citrus fruits and a nectarine, personally. But you can use strawberries, apricots, apples, blueberries, blackberries, etc. If you like the taste of said fruit, you’ll probably love it with red wine!
And afterwards, you can eat your boozy fruit cocktail and remain tipsy long after the wine is gone!
The liquor choice is also up for debate. I used brandy because that’s what was in the liquor cabinet. You could try rum, or tequila, or even vodka I suppose.
Finally, a little carbonation makes the whole thing fizzy! I like ginger ale for the added sweetness, but you could use sparkling water, club soda, or even 7-Up (or Sprite).
This is a chop and dump recipe. It’s really the simplest thing ever. It will take longer to wash and chop your fruits than it will to actually bring the whole thing together.
And that’s all there is to it. Chop some fruit, dump it into a pitcher with your liquids, and you’re done! Garnish with a little leftover fruit.
I do recommend letting the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes though. That gives the flavors some time to marry and the fruit juices to mix with the alcohol.
But if you’re impatient, you can always serve it over ice. I don’t like diluting my sangria, so I’ll wait a little bit to avoid ice.
And now that summer is on full blast and it’s probably still not a good idea to crowd into cocktail bars yet, sangria is an easy drink you can enjoy at home!
Bonus tip: this doubles really easily (my original recipe was exactly double). Add 1 of each fruit if your punch bowl looks a little empty.
Pin it to make later!
Easy Summer Sangria
- Punch bowl
- Long spoon for stirring
- 1 bottle dry red wine (or any wine you have on hand)
- 2 cups ginger ale
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 large blood orange sliced into half rounds
- 2 medium lemons sliced into half rounds
- 2 limes sliced into half rounds
- 1 medium nectarine or peach chopped
- Add all of the ingredients into a pitcher or punch bowl.
- Stir to combine.
- You can serve right away over ice, but it's better to chill for at least 30 minutes so all the flavors can meld.