This simply summery sangria wine can be made with either red or white wine!
I like to think that sangria is one of my specialties as it’s one of my favorite beverages to serve to guests all summer long. I’ve made a lot of sangria over the years and no two pitchers are ever the same, though I do always start with the same basic base. And I thought it was about time I shared it here with all of you!
This is a classic sangria recipe that you can use with either red or white wine and customize however you like with your favorite summer fruit. It’s sweet but light, fruity, and very boozy!
Basic summer sangria recipe
This is a very basic, classical sangria recipe with only 5 ingredients— wine, brandy, freshly squeezed orange juice, sugar, and fresh fruit. It can be made with either red or white wine and whatever fruit you like!
You don’t have to be super picky when it comes to choosing wine for sangria but there are some things to consider. It should be fruity and inexpensive, but taste good all on its own. Save that fancy bottle for another occasion, but steer clear of the bottom shelf. I usually stick to a good $10 bottle of wine. Keep reading to see what specific red and white wines I recommend.
Citrus, berries, stone fruits like cherries and peaches, pineapple, apples, and pears are all wonderful options but really just about any fruit will work. Slice or chop as needed or per your preference.
Brandy is a great liqueur for sangria as it’s made from distilled wine or fruit and it’s sweet. A standard wine (or grape) based brandy is great, but you can also use brandy distilled from another fruit to get a different flavor. Look for apple, pear, raspberry, etc. brandy or “eau de vie”. I also like to make sangria with grand marnier or gran gala, which are brandy-based orange liqueurs.
This sangria recipe is also almost straight-up alcohol and if that’s too strong for you, add sparkling water or even ginger ale to “water it down” a little. You can add it straight to the pitcher or top glasses as it’s being served.
White wine sangria
To make a white wine sangria, I use the same recipe but I usually try to keep it really light and bright. I like use a lot of citrus like orange, lemon, and lime slices and some berries for a pop of color. Fresh mint and other herbs are also a great summery addition. If I vary from a standard brandy I stick to orange, apple, or pear flavors.
Good white wines for sangria— dry Riesling, Pinot Grigio, un-oaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Vinho Verde.
Red wine sangria
Red wine sangria is the classic and really anything goes! I’ve seen everything from apples to berries to even bananas mixed into red sangria so really don’t be afraid to use whatever you like or have on hand. You can use almost any kind of brandy, but you can also use other fruit liqueurs like chambourd (raspberry) or creme de cassis (blackberry) if you like. They really bring out a summery fruit flavor, plus they’re a purple color so they pair better with red wine over white.
Good red wines for sangria— look for a light to medium-bodied red wine that’s fruity with low tannins. Pinot Noir, Malbec, Zinfandel, and Grenache are all great options.
Tools for this recipe
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Red and white summer sangria
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) brandy
- 1 750-ml bottle red or white wine
- 2 cups fresh fruit (such as citrus slices, berries, peaches, apples, etc.), sliced or chopped as needed
- Ice (or use frozen fruit)
- Sparkling water or ginger ale, to taste
- Add sugar, orange juice, and brandy to a pitcher and stir for about 1 minute until sugar is dissolved.
- Add red or white wine and fruit and stir until combined.
- Chill completely in the fridge, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
- If using a sweeter wine, omit sugar.
- If making more than I few hours ahead, I prefer to chill without the fruit, and then add it in later.