In Search of the Best Sangria Recipe


June 27, 2014 Blog » Wine Tips & Tricks » In Search of the Best Sangria Recipe

In an effort to make the best Sangria, we tested 5 classic Sangria recipes. After testing, we concluded that the best recipes were surprisingly simple. You can try them all out yourself or pick one that best fits your mood.

#1 Tested Red Wine Sangria
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • ¼ cup sugar

Sangrias we tested:

  • Ruby Red Sangria
  • White Wine Sangria
  • White Peach Sangria
  • Spanish Sangria
  • Red Wine and Brandy Sangria

The two Sangria recipes that won our hearts are White Peach Sangria and Ruby Red Wine Sangria.

TIP: We modified the recipes to only require one bottle of wine (for 1-4 people). If you have more people coming to drink your ‘Gria’, just double or triple the recipe as needed.

In Search of the Best Sangria Recipe

Ruby Red Wine Sangria

Ruby Red Sangria

Ruby Red Wine Sangria Recipe
  • 1 750 ml bottle of red wine (a medium bodied red wine like Garnacha, Merlot or Tempranillo)
  • 1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • ¼ cup sugar

TOP PICK: This recipe was one of our top picks even though it didn’t have the twinkle of soda water. The grapefruit juice adds another dimension with its slightly bitter note that actually worked surprisingly well with the red wine we used (a Grenache blend from Languedoc Roussillon). When we first tested it we added 1/2 cup of sugar but quickly realized that less is more. You’ll notice that this recipe is devoid of brandy or any other liquor. If you want, you can bump the flavor up a notch and add a ¼ to a ½ cup of brandy or vodka, just be sure to serve over ice.

Watch a 1 minute how to Ruby Red Wine Sangria Video


What Type of Wine Should You Use?

Don’t worry, there is not a standard wine for Sangria! However, if you’d like to make a sangria in tune with Spanish tradition, use Garnacha or find another Medium Bodied Red Wine. For white sangria, pick a zesty and/or aromatic white wine such as Torrontés, Chenin Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Gris. See a more complete list of white wines by style for inspiration.

White Wine Sangria

white-sangria

White Wine Sangria Recipe
  • 1 750 ml bottle of white wine (a zesty or aromatic white wine like Torrontes, Chenin Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Grigio)
  • ¼ – ½ cup sugar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • fruit for garnish (peaches, apples, berries or citrus)
  • Mint or Basil (if available)

You can use nearly any kind of fruit to garnish a White Wine Sangria. While some recipes call for the addition of rum, brandy, vodka or limoncello, we opted to use Cava instead. Use only a quarter cup of sugar if you tend to like ‘less sweet’ drinks. We liked this recipe just fine, but it somehow didn’t have the complexity we expect from a great cocktail.


White Peach Sangria with Cava

white-peach-sangria

White Peach Sangria with Cava Recipe
  • 1 750 bottle of Cava or Prosecco (a zesty or aromatic white wine like Torrontes, Chenin Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Grigio)
  • ¼ cup Brandy or Triple Sec
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3-4 White Peaches
  • Juice from 1 Lemon

TOP PICK: This recipe was the best and it’s so simple. Add brandy and lemon juice to the bottom of your pitcher. Cut up the peaches into cubes and add with ice. Top with Cava or Prosecco and serve immediately. As you sip, the peaches macerate in your drink.

For the picture, we added a little red wine at the bottom of the glass to give it a pink color.


What is Sangria?

Sangria is the Spanish name for a sugar-sweetened wine and fruit cocktail. Rumored to be first introduced to the US at the 1964 World’s Fair. Today, it’s the world’s most popular wine cocktail (right up there with a Mimosa). In Barcelona, the most common hipster bar cocktails we saw were: Sangria, Kalimoxto (cali-mo-cho) and Gin Tonic.

Classic Spanish Sangria

red-sangria02

Classic Spanish Sangria Recipe
  • 1 750 ml bottle of red wine (a medium bodied red wine like Garnacha, Merlot or Tempranillo)
  • 1 cup soda water or Cava (Spanish Champagne) to top off
  • ¼ – ½ cup sugar
  • Juice from 1 orange or 1 lemon or 2 limes
  • lime wheels for garnish

In the center square of Haro, Spain (in Rioja) you can find Sangria made from a simple Red Rioja (a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha), granulated sugar, soda water and a few slices of citrus (oranges, lemons or limes). It’s prepared on the spot and served in a pitcher with ice and a stirring spoon to mix in the sugar. This style of Sangria is pretty tart and very refreshing. The taste of the wine really comes through. Use only a quarter cup of sugar if you tend to prefer ‘less sweet’ drinks.

We were surprised how many places make Sangria in Spain using Lemon-lime soda.


Emeril’s Red Wine Sangria

red-sangria

Emeril’s Red Wine Sangria Recipe

  • 1 750 ml bottle of red wine (a medium bodied red wine like Garnacha, Merlot or Tempranillo)
  • ¼ cup Triple Sec
  • ¼ cup Brandy
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • Apples, Oranges and Lemon for garnish

You can find Emeril’s complete recipe and notes on the Food Network

We found this recipe to be pretty similar to the Spanish Sangria Recipe but it had much more depth and complexity of flavor because of the addition of brandy. It was even more awesome with tons of ice in our glasses and just a splash of soda on top.



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By Madeline Puckette
I'm a certified wine geek with a passion for meeting people, travel, and delicious food. You often find me crawling around dank cellars or frolicking through vineyards. Find me at @WineFolly