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Red Wine Sangria

December 15, 2023

Whether you’re gathering for a book club, a birthday party or just for some no-reason friend time, keep this red sangria flowing and the conversation will flow right along with it!


homemade sangria recipe in cups with apples and oranges

An Easy Sangria Recipe Everyone Will Love

Classic red wine sangria is so easy to love. It looks festive—ruby red and bejeweled with fruit—and it tastes just as good (or better) than it looks. With a nice chill, it’s refreshing in the summer, but because it’s made with red wine, it’s equally at home on your autumn or winter table. You can bring it to a potluck (if you’d like to be sure that you brought the best thing on the drinks table!) or whip up a batch to serve with appetizers at your next dinner party. There’s something uniquely convivial about sangria—and we don’t just mean the booze (though yes, you definitely can get drunk on sangria if you over do it!). A little sweet, wine-y, spiked with plenty of fresh fruit and brandy, it’s a little grown up and a little silly and, to us, it just ticks every box you want your party drink to tick. Plus, our red sangria recipe is easy as can be!

oranges, brown sugar, green apples, cinnamon stick, oranges, triple sec for sangria

What Is Sangria?

Traditional sangria is a wine-based cocktail that originated—like so many other wonderful gustatory ideas—in Spain! And it really is more of an idea than an exact recipe. Sangria is always wine-based, and it always has a fruity element. Beyond that, sangria recipes can really vary a lot. Our red sangria is as classic as can be. Here are all of the ingredients that come together to make traditional sangria:

  • Wine. Red wine is probably the most traditional wine for sangria and it’s our favorite. But white sangria can be delicious, too! And of course, you know we have a special place in our hearts for rosé sangria!

  • Liquor. Brandy is the most classic choice, and that’s what we use in our sangria recipe.

  • Fruit. Again, we’ve kept things super simple and super classic! When it comes to sangria fruit, our recipe just calls for the most traditional combo of apples and oranges. But feel free to play around with this a bit. A few berries here, a lemon there—whatever you want to add or whatever tastes delicious to your own palate. Sangria is a wonderful catch-all.

  • Sweeteners. Our sangria recipe actually has two sweeteners. Brown sugar and high-quality triple sec (like Cointreau or Combier), which is a lovely, lightly sweet orange liqueur. If you prefer things on the less-sweet side, it’s fine to leave the brown sugar out.

  • Cinnamon. A little hint of warm spice to tie everything together is the key to a delicious pitcher of sangria.

Red Wine Sangria Recipe with cinnamon, apples, oranges, brandy and triple sec.

Choosing the Best Wine for Sangria

Because of sangria’s Spanish origins, Spanish red wines are a natural fit for sangria. But most any red wine that you really like will work in this recipe. As with any cocktail made with wine, it’s important to use a wine that you like to drink on its own—after all, even all the booze and fruit and sweeteners can only do so much to mask a crummy wine, and there’s no hiding the tell-tale headache that you’ll have the day after. So don’t go for totally bottom-shelf wine. That said, don’t use a really nice bottle, either! Making sangria is not the moment to open that special bottle you got for your anniversary or really anything over, say, $20. To us, a bottle of red wine in the $15 range will be the sweet spot wine for making sangria! It’ll be good, but not too good. As for wine varietals, you could go a lot of directions. Here are a few to try:

  • Garnacha. Garnacha is a grape used for making Spanish red wines—it’s known as grenache in France—and it’d be delicious in sangria. It’s often medium-bodied with lots of cherry notes, and it’s often very affordable.

  • Pinot Noir. Light-bodied and a bit tannic, Pinot Noir is a fun wine for sangria, especially in the warmer months when you really want to keep it light.

  • Tempranillo. Another Spanish wine grape, tempranillo is usually juicy and dark, and sometimes has a hint of spice—in other words, delicious in this sangria recipe! You might know it as the primary grape used in the wines of Rioja.

  • Malbec. Argentinian malbec is a great, budget-friendly wine for sangria! They’re often a great bargain, too.

Red Wine Sangria Recipe with cinnamon, apples, oranges, brandy and triple sec.
Homemade Red Wine Sangria Recipe with cinnamon, apples, oranges, brandy and triple sec.

How to Make Sangria

Whether you’ll be sipping this as a summer sangria or as a winter tipple alongside Mulled Wine, it hits the spot all year round, and party guests are always glad to see a cheery pitcher of sangria on the drinks table—we promise. Plus, our traditional sangria recipe is so easy to make! Here’s how to make sangria from scratch:

  1. Grab your favorite pitcher. A clear one is always nice for sangria so that everyone can see the fruit bobbing in the brandy-spiked wine.

  2. Pour in the wine, brandy, triple sec, fresh orange juice and brown sugar (if you’re using it). Give everything a good stir.

  3. Add the cinnamon stick, orange slices and diced apple.

  4. Chill your sangria! Cover the pitcher and pop it in the fridge. An hour is good, two hours is better. You could even leave it in the fridge overnight.

Red Wine Sangria Recipe with cinnamon, apples, oranges, brandy and triple sec.

Tools You’ll Need

More Cocktail Recipes to Try

Red Wine Sangria Recipe with cinnamon, apples, oranges, brandy and triple sec.

Sangria = Party in a Pitcher

This sangria is pure deliciousness and always brings the fun. Try the recipe, and let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Red Wine Sangria

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min
  • Calories: 228


  • 1 (750 mL) bottle red wine, such as Garnacha or Pinot Noir
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, about 2 large oranges
  • 2-4 Tbsp brown sugar, optional, depending on sweetness
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Orange cut into slices
  • 1/2 green apple, cored cut into bite size pieces


  1. In a large pitcher, mix together the wine, brandy, triple sec, orange juice and sugar (if using), stir to combine. Add the cinnamon stick, orange slices and apple. Give it another stir.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve, preferably 2 hours or more.

**Taste before serving. If it’s too sweet or strong for your taste, you can add a little water (about 1/2 cup) or sparkling water (about 1/2 cup). Serving over ice will also help it achieve the perfect strength and sweetness.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories228
  • Protein0 g
  • Carbohydrates18 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium7 mg
  • Total Sugars1 g

Red Wine Sangria

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

    This was absolutely delicious! Everyone asked for the recipe!

    Yay, that is so great to hear! Thank you for trying it!