Fresh, fruity, and flavorful, this Red Sangria Recipe is the best kind of cocktail for a get-together because you can make it ahead and skip playing bartender for the night. It’s not too sweet, easy to make, and always starts things off right.
Why You’ll Love This Red Wine Sangria Recipe
- A Traditional(-ish) Sangria Recipe. I’m never going to pass up White Sangria or even Halloween Sangria, but if you’re looking for an authentic, Spanish-style sangria, it’s going to be made with red wine. (Which means it’s perfect for pairing with tapas and Spanish Chicken Stew.) Of course, this recipe is also made with pineapple, which is not traditional, but it does make this red sangria sweet and tropical.
- Summery (or Not!). Unlike white sangria, which feels decidedly summery, red sangria is a cocktail you can enjoy year-round. This version is infused with fresh summer berries and the tropical flavor of pineapple, but you can switch over to apples, pears, and cinnamon sticks in the fall and citrus in the winter. All that’s to say: red sangria is versatile!
- No Bar Equipment Needed. All you need to make sangria is a pitcher and a wooden spoon to stir everything together. No shaker, no muddler, no strainer! Just like my Rum Punch and Champagne Punch, red sangria is practically effortless.
- Budget-Friendly. Since you can make good sangria with inexpensive wine, it’s a great way to stretch your dollar for a crowd.
- A Hit at Every Party. Even though this red sangria recipe is ridiculously easy to make, people still ooh and ahh over it when you bring out a pitcher at a party. The combination of deliciousness, booziness, and aesthetics (sangria is pretty!) make it wildly popular.
- Easy Enough to Make Just Because. I also like making sangria to pair with weeknight dinners since it will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. It pairs beautifully with Grilled Flank Steak and Taco Salad.
How to Make Red Sangria
- Dry Red Wine. I recommend Rioja, Garnacha, or another Spanish red.
- Brandy or Gin. Choose gin for a drier red sangria.
- Orange, Lemon, and Lime. Citrus adds brightness and makes the sangria taste fresh.
- Diced Pineapples with Juice. This brings natural sweetness and infuses our red sangria recipe with tropical flavor, without the need for simple syrup.
- Berries. Use fresh or frozen sliced strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries—or a combination of these.
- Sugar. Feel free to adjust the amount to your liking (or leave it out, the pineapple is sweet).
- Something Fizzy. Ginger ale, sparkling water, or sparkling wine for some effervescence.
- Grab a Big Pitcher. Add the wine and brandy.
- Juice the Citrus. Squeeze the citrus fruit wedges into the pitcher, then add the juiced fruit.
- Sweeten It Up. Stir in the pineapple, berries, and sugar.
- Chill. For at least 6 hours, or up to overnight.
- Serve. Pour red sangria over ice with a splash of ginger ale. ENJOY!
- Summery Red Sangria Recipe. Make this red wine sangria even more fitting for summer by swapping the pineapple for sliced ripe peaches and a cup of peach juice or nectar.
- Sweet Sangria. Add a splash of triple sec.
- Fall Red Sangria. Leave out the pineapple and berries. Add a sliced pear, sliced apple, cinnamon sticks, and a cup of apple cider. Use honey as the sweetener instead of sugar.
- Holiday Red Sangria. Skip the pineapple, berries, lemon, and lime. Keep the orange and add a sliced apple, a cup cranberry or pomegranate juice, the arils of one pomegranate, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. This is the best sangria recipe for winter get-togethers!
- To Store. Cover and refrigerate red sangria and use it within 5 days. (Use plastic wrap if your pitcher doesn’t have a lid.) Expect the flavors to change a bit with each passing day as the fruit continues to infuse into the wine.
What to Serve with Red Sangria
- Apps and Finger Foods. In other words: tapas! This red sangria recipe is delightful with a cheese plate, charcuterie board, or Brie En Croute.
- Beef. Red wine and beef are a classic pairing, and that’s true of red sangria too. Serve your sangria with Air Fryer Steak or Beef Bourguignon.
- Mushrooms. Not into beef? Dry red wine also complements the earthy, umami flavor of mushrooms in dishes like Grilled Portobello Mushrooms and Mushroom Risotto.
- Shrimp or Fish. Normally white wine pairs with seafood, but we can make an exception with this red sangria recipe because all that citrus in the mix pairs fabulously with fish. I love red sangria with Shrimp Tacos and Cedar Plank Salmon.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Pitcher. A wide-mouthed glass pitcher makes it easy to mix and serve this red sangria recipe.
- Wooden Spoon. I like this set of spoons because it has three different sizes.
- Citrus Juicer. A juicer like this eliminates the hassle of fishing for lemon seeds in your juice!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Make Sure Your Fruit Is at the Peak of Ripeness. It’s how red sangria gets its flavor! If you add bland berries, they’ll look pretty in the pitcher, but they’re not going to infuse any flavor into your sangria. No ripe fruit? Use frozen.
- Use a Middle-of-the-Range Wine. You want a happy medium here—don’t buy the cheapest wine you can find, but don’t splurge on a $50 bottle either. With all the fruit you add to the mix, you’re not going to taste the nuances of a pricy bottle of wine, but you will notice a wine that’s just plain bad.
- Let the Flavors Come Together. Sangria isn’t done until it has the chance to sit for a bit, so don’t stir it and serve it right away. Time is needed for the fruit and wine to mingle.
- Scale It Up for a Party. Since this red sangria recipe takes a few hours for the flavors to meld, it’s best to make some extra if you’re serving it for a party. Sangria goes fast, so be prepared!
Red Sangria Recipe
- 1 bottle dry red wine such as Rioja, Garnacha, or another Spanish red
- 1/4 cup brandy or 2 ounces gin both are good! gin is dryer
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 1 8-ounce can diced pineapples with juice
- 1/2 cup berries: sliced strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Ginger ale or your bubbly of choice: sparkling water; sparkling wine
- Pour the wine into a large pitcher. Add the brandy.
- Cut lemon, lime, and orange into wedges. Squeeze the juice into the pitcher, then toss in the juiced fruit.
- Stir in pineapple, berries, and sugar. Chill for 6 hours or overnight.
- To serve, fill glasses with ice. Give the sangria a big stir. Serve over ice with a splash of ginger ale.
- Nutritional information is an estimate and is calculated with brandy, but without ginger ale.
- TO STORE: Cover and refrigerate red sangria and use it within 5 days. (Use plastic wrap if your pitcher doesn’t have a lid.) Expect the flavors to change a bit with each passing day as the fruit continues to infuse into the wine.
Join today and start saving your favorite recipes
Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.Sign Me Up
Frequently Asked Questions
Spanish red wines like Garnacha, Rioja, or Tempranillo are excellent choices for this red sangria recipe.
There are many variations of sangria in Spain, but the most common recipe includes orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, green apple, peach or apricot, and liqueurs.
Red sangria is usually a dark, almost purple-ish red, but it depends on the ingredients you add. If you top your sangria with a lot of club soda or ginger ale in the glass, it might just end up being pink!
You can leave the fruit in this red sangria recipe for 4 to 5 days, but sangria tastes best with between 6 to 8 hours of soaking.
Since there isn’t much brandy in the recipe, you really can use any kind you like. If you are going for the most authentic Spanish sangria, use brandy de Jerez, which is Spanish.