Introducing the perfect companion to chilly evenings and cozy gatherings: Red Sangria, a delightful blend of warm flavors and aromatic spices. This recipe combines the richness of dry red wine with the sweetness of fruits, a touch of brandy, and a hint of spice to create a soothing and flavorful drink.
Red wine sangria recipe
During winter the icy atmosphere is festive, fun, joyous and you want to be celebrating at home with your loved ones, probably in your onesie no doubt. For these cozy times, you need a recipe to match the mood. That’s where the hot, simmered red sangria drink comes in. Steaming cups of hot red wine are very common in Christmas markets around Europe and it is very easy to make a homemade version of them as well.
When making a homemade red sangria you can choose your favorite wine, spices, amount of added sugar and can also control exactly what is in your drink. If you’d like, you can make it ahead of time and keep a sangria pitcher in the fridge for when guests arrive. When you want a drink, just heat and pour.
What's in sangria
The base of the drink is dry red wine. You can also make it with white wine but I think that white wine sangria is more of a summer drink than a winter one. To the wine, you add fruits usually citrus fruits, and spices to add more flavor to the drink. The common spices are cinnamon, anise stars and nutmeg. To include an alcoholic base, you just add brandy.
In order to keep the alcohol in the drink, you need to heat it gently and not boil it. Because there is sugar in the drink, it needs to dissolve in liquid before adding the wine so that you avoid overcooking the wine and losing the alcohol. I used water but you can also use orange juice or apple cider, both fit the drink since there is orange and apple in it.
Tips to help you perfect your red sangria
Choose the Right Red Wine
Opt for a dry red wine with good structure and flavor. Spanish red wines like Tempranillo, Garnacha or Rioja are classic choices for sangria. Avoid wines that are too tannic or too sweet, as they can overpower the other ingredients.
Adjust the amount of sugar to your taste. Start with the recommended amount in the recipe, and then add more if needed. Keep in mind that the sweetness of your wine and fruit can also affect the final sweetness of the sangria.
Use fresh, ripe fruits for the best flavor. Besides oranges and apples, you can also add other fruits like berries, lemon slices, or even pomegranate seeds to enhance the sangria's complexity.
Don't Overdo the Brandy
While brandy adds depth to the sangria, don't overpour. A quarter-cup, as mentioned in the recipe, is generally enough to enhance the flavor without making the sangria overly strong.
Besides cinnamon sticks, you can garnish with fresh herbs like mint or a slice of orange or apple on the rim of each glass for a visually appealing presentation.
Feel free to experiment with different fruit combinations, spices, or even adding a splash of soda water for some fizz if you prefer a lighter sangria.
Brandy is a traditional ingredient in sangria, and it adds depth of flavor. However, it's not mandatory. You can omit the brandy if you prefer a lighter sangria or if you don't have any on hand.
Yes, sangria actually benefits from some time to chill and allow the flavors to meld. You can prepare it in advance, refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight, and serve it when you're ready. It's a great make-ahead cocktail for parties.
While you can serve sangria with ice, it's often recommended to use frozen fruit, like berries or grapes, as "ice cubes" to chill the drink without diluting it as traditional ice would.
While sangria is often associated with summer due to its refreshing nature, you can enjoy it year-round. In fact, this recipe here is a winter sangria and it incorporate warming spices like cinnamon and cloves.
Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of red sangria by using non-alcoholic red wine or grape juice as a base. Simply follow the same recipe, omit the brandy, and adjust the sweetness to your taste.
Other recipes to try:
Make this red sangria today!
Whether you're looking to unwind by the fireplace or entertain friends during the winter season, this Red Sangria recipe is sure to infuse your evenings with warmth and cheer. Let's dive into how to craft this inviting beverage that will have you toasting to the joys of winter in no time!
- 1 bottle of dry red wine
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup water OR orange juice OR apple cider
- ½ orange thinly sliced
- ½ apple cubed
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 whole anise stars
- ¼ cup brandy
- 1 cinnamon stick
- more cinnamon sticks
- Bring the water, sugar, fruits and spices to a boil in a medium sized pot.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes until all sugar is dissolved.
- Add the wine and brandy to the pot and continue cooking (but do not boil the drink) until it is hot. (if you boil the drink, the alcohol will be gone and it will be just a nice drink but not alcoholic).
- Ladle the drink into cups and garnish each cup with a cinnamon stick.
- Cheers and happy winter!