Making Floral, Fruity & Fragrant Sangria


Photo Credit: nattywoohoo

Sangria: Party lovers either love or hate this fresh fruit wine cocktail that has both a Spanish and Portuguese origin.

The squeeze of fresh citrus makes it a delicious and inexpensive drink that budget-conscious party hosts should have no second thoughts serving.

But, if it is a poorly made one, which will give your party guests a splitting headache the next morning, then forget it.

Sangria still makes a delicious and inexpensive party cocktail, if you know how to make a good one. And why not, when it is so easy to make!

With pitchers of it stocked in the fridge, the good time rolls as soon as the guests come trooping in and as this chilled and fancy cocktail is poured into glasses. With some creative additions and garnish, you can make the cocktail mix all your own, minus the headache, which your party guests will love.

The Basic Sangria

Before you try making a variety of innovative mixes, start with simple, basic sangria.  Wine expert Stacy Slinked of – Food Section shares a Basic Recipe you can use.


  • 1 750 ml bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja reds, Zinfandel, Shiraz)
  • 1 Lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 Orange cut into wedges
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Shot brandy
  • 2 Cups dry ginger ale or club soda


  1. Pour wine and mix the lemon juice extract squeezed from the wedges.
  2. Add the lemon and orange wedges.
  3. Toss in and mix the sugar and brandy. Chill overnight.
  4. Just before serving, pour club soda or ginger ale.
  5. If you need to serve within the hour, serve with lots of ice and use chilled red wine.
  6. Enhance the flavor using creative additions, such as “…sliced strawberries, diced peaches, a handful of fresh blueberries, raspberries, kiwi slices, a shot or two of gin, brandy or rum, a cup of ginger ale, citrus soda or fresh squeezed lime juice.”

More Recipes and Tips shares other sangria recipes – Spicy, Party  and Super Fruity. The Kitchn shares five – Sparkling White Peach Sangria, Sparkling Watermelon Sangria, Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria, Strawberry & Limoncello Rosé Sangria, Peach Lambic & Rye Sangria, and a Non-Alcoholic Sangria.

The Kitchn also shares two important tips in its post “How to Make Red Wine Sangria” to make yours a good one.

  1. Which Wine? Any inexpensive red wine will do, such as Rioja from Spain. For a sweeter twist, you may use Malbec or Merlot. (Note: A good red wine still makes a fine base for “good” sangria. Read below.)
  2. The Overnight Resting Period Is Important! The resting period allows the fruits impart its taste to the wine, making it sweeter and more delicious. The natural sour of sugary taste will minimize the after party headache.

How to Stay Away from “Subpar Sangria”

Making sangria at home is easy, but it is easier to make a sub-par version.

Rochelle Bilow shares ideas in How Not to Screw Up Sangria, So You Can Make Fruit & Booze Magic at Home for Bon Appétit.

She writes, “… there’s a lot of subpar sangria out there these days. It’s easy to fall victim to a syrupy glass (or four) of “sugar wine,” and wake up the next day with a splitting headache. Sangria should be floral, fruity, and fragrant. It should be easy to sip, but not mindless entertainment…”

Bilow lists these mistakes. Read and learn…

  1. Cheap Wine Makes Bad Sangria. While any red wine will do, a good red wine still makes it better.
  2. Don’t Settle for Unripe Fruit. These may taste bitter and dry. “Part of the magic is that the sliced fruit releases juices that mix with the alcohol, flavoring and sweetening the entire mix.”
  3. Go Easy on the Booze.  “The liquor should complement and bring out the darker notes in the wine, not get your guests drunk.”
  4. … But Not Too Easy. You may enhance it with more spirits with sweet – fruity or floral – notes, such as pisco, Suze, Cointreau, or St. Germain.
  5. Longer Isn’t Better. The post suggests least 30 minutes, but no more than 2 hours, contrary to the suggestion by The Kitchn. Extending the “steeping or resting process” may get the fruits “mealy and limp” and result in a “bitter” flavor. For best results, try experimenting which works best for you.

This will always be a refreshing cocktail to have around during parties. If you can skip the “headache” part, many still love it. “Learn the art of well-balanced sangria and never make these common mistakes again. ¡Salud!”

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