Make this easy sangria recipe! Infused with brandy, orange juice, big chunks of fruit, and a hint of cinnamon. It’s delicious & so authentic!
The fall weather really has me loving the outdoors lately. Are you with me?
It’s just such a relief now that the weather has cooled off. We’ve been having cool mornings and evenings, paired with balmy, sunshine-y afternoons. What could be nicer?
If I can find the time I really love to head outside at the end of the day, while it’s still warm and sunny, with a good book and a soothing drink. Like this authentic sangria recipe!
How do you feel about sangria?
Personally, I can drink mango margaritas, strawberry daiquiris, and frosé all summer long. But when the leaves start to turn, I look for something with slightly deeper, warmer flavors.
This sangria recipe is perfect. The lush red wine, macerated fruit, toasty brandy and warm cinnamon make you feel cozy all over. It’s exactly like what I had on my travels to Spain- couldn’t be more authentic. And served over ice, it’s still refreshing enough to enjoy on a warm, sunny afternoon.
WHAT DOES SANGRIA TASTE LIKE?
Sangria has a sweet, fruity taste, with a hint of cinnamon and a mild warmth from the alchohol in the wine and brandy.
It’s smooth and very easy to drink, and it pairs well with all sorts of different dishes.
You can enjoy sangria all year ’round. It’s very refreshing served chilled in the warmer months, but it has a cozy, warming quality that’s really nice in fall and winter too.
WHAT’S IN SANGRIA
Sangria has just a few simple ingredients, and you can totally get creative and make swaps according to your own taste.
- Wine (Red is traditional but white or rose would work too.)
- Fruit (I’ve used apples and oranges but feel free to get creative!)
- Brandy (A classic but you could substitute with some other liqueur.)
- Fruit Juice (Again, orange juice is typical but go ahead and experiment!)
- Sweetener (If you feel like it needs it, if not you can omit.)
- Cinnamon (Another classic ingredient but you can leave it out or substitute with something else.)
WHAT KIND OF WINE
For truly authentic sangria like you’d have in Spain, you’ll want to look for a Spanish red wine. Some of the most well-known styles of Spanish red wine include:
Learn more about these here: 7 Types of Spanish Red Wine, and about a few others here: Spanish Wine Grape Types.
But you don’t have to get hung up on using Spanish wine in this sangria recipe. Any kind of wine you like will work just fine! Use your own favorite!
Apples and oranges are traditional in sangria, but you can mix it up however you’d like! In fall you might want to add pears or persimmons, in winter pomegranates or cranberries. In spring, citrus or tropical fruits like pineapple would be fantastic, and I’d love a summer sangria made with fresh berries and/or stone fruits.
You really can’t go wrong!
Fruit juice is needed to bring out the sweet and fruity flavor of sangria. I like to use orange juice because it’s so readily available.
But you can really use any kind of fruit juice you like. I’d be anxious to try a sangria recipe made with apple juice or apple cider, or cranberry juice would be really nice too for a more tart flavor. And pineapple juice would really make this sangria sweet and lush!
You’ll also want to add a splash of liqueur for even more sweetness, complexity, and a boozy kick! Brandy is traditional but any kind of sweet liqueur would work. I’m thinking rum, triple sec, or raspberry liqueur would be especially nice.
I include a little brown sugar in this sangria recipe, just for added sweetness. Feel free to swap it out for regular granulated sugar, honey, or maple syrup, or leave it out altogether if you prefer!
The final ingredient is cinnamon. This ingredient is what really gives sangria its unique and authentic flavor.
Ground cinnamon will leave a gritty sediment at the bottom of your glass- so cinnamon sticks are best. You can drop them into the pitcher to steep and release their flavors, or you can just pop them into each glass like a stirrer. Either way, you’ll love the taste they impart to this fabulous, fruity drink!
I usually have no problem finding cinnamon sticks in the spice aisle at my regular supermarket, but if you’d prefer to order them online, here’s a link: Cinnamon Sticks.
Oh and this is totally optional, but you can totally make fizzy sangria if you like! Just top off each glass with a splash of club soda, seltzer, or lemon-lime soda. Or ginger beer would be fantastic, especially at this time of year!
Also check out my recipe for frozen sangria slushies here: Frozen Sangria Slushies.
HOW TO MAKE IT
There’s really not a whole lot of technique involved in this sangria recipe!
It’s basically just a dump and stir kind of situation, but I have included a how-to video in the recipe card below.
Start by chopping up the fruit and adding it to the pitcher. Then add the sweetener, fruit juice, and brandy, and finally the wine. Give it a good stir and then let it sit so all the flavors can meld and marry together.
Sangria gets better the longer it sits, so I like to make it early in the day so I can serve it in the evening. But it’s really good after just 30 minutes, so go ahead and toss it together whenever the craving strikes!
One word of advice: if you want to serve it over ice, put the ice in the individual glasses, NOT the pitcher. This way the ice stays fresh as you’re drinking and doesn’t melt and dilute the whole pitcher.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Like I said, the longer this sits, the better it gets.
But after a while the fruit may start to break down. So I’d say you can keep your pitcher of sangria in the fridge for around 3 or 4 days. If it can last that long!
A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE COOL WEATHER DRINK RECIPES:
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- 2 (364 g) apples, (I used honeycrisp), medium
- 2 (262 g) oranges, (I used navel), medium
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (124 g) orange juice
- 1/4 cup (60 g) brandy
- 1 bottle (750 g) red wine , (preferably Spanish)
- cinnamon sticks
- Core and roughly chop the apple and orange, and add to a large pitcher.
- Add the brown sugar to the pitcher, then pour the orange juice and brandy over.
- Pour in the red wine and stir.
- Allow the fruit to soak in the wine mixture for 30 minutes (or more).
- Serve over ice, garnished with a cinnamon stick.
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