What is Sangria?

Few drinks fully encapsulate the feeling of summer like Sangria. Light and fruity with fresh orange slices and apples, this refreshing sipper is best served under the sun with friends.

You may not know that this iconic drink dates as far back as the Romans, when water was fortified with wine, herbs, and spices, making it safer to drink. By the early 1800s, Sangria, a fruitier ode to its ancient origins, was created and popularized across Western Europe. 

In this article, we’re addressing the various forms of Sangria and ways to make your own at home.

What Type of Wine is Sangria?

An alcoholic mixed drink hailing from Spain, Sangria’s meaning translates to “drink of blood-like color,” though the color isn’t always red as it depends on the type of wine used. It’s traditionally served in a large pitcher.

Sangria is thought to have officially originated in Spain and Portugal, with the earliest renditions consisting of red wine, liquor, and chopped fruit. 

Under European Union regulations, these are the only two countries that can officially label their products as Sangria. This is why other countries, like Latin America, give similar drinks different names, such as Clericó.

Sangria is very popular amongst tourists and is served in most bars, restaurants, and major festivals in Spain. 

What Color is Sangria?

Classic Sangria color is often deep, burgundy or plum red, hence the name. However, colors can range from lighter red to white to yellow. Light red wine Sangria and white wine Sangria will bear brighter colors than their darker counterparts. 

There are several variations of Sangria, but specific ingredients are required for it to be considered traditional. 

Keep reading to see what this fresh and fruity sipper consists of. 

What Is Sangria? Infographic | Macy's Wine Shop

What is Sangria Made Of?

Traditionally, Sangria contains:

  • Orange juice
  • Simple syrup, agave nectar, or sugar
  • Club soda or ginger ale
  • Fresh fruit slices like oranges, pineapple, or apples
  • Orange liqueur, Triple Sec, schnapps, or Brandy
  • Cinnamon stick

      Feel free to change out a few of these ingredients, like swapping citrus fruit for watermelon, berries, or hibiscus.

      Here are a few more options to explore. 

      What Fruit is in Sangria?

      While oranges and apples are two of the most popular fruits for Sangria punch, there are several fun substitutions worth trying. 

      If you don’t have oranges, try lemons for extra tartness. Strawberries are also delicious in sparkling wine versions of Sangria, both red and white. 

      Other berries like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries can also be used, just make sure to serve these quickly so the ingredients don’t get mushy. 

      For a tropical flair, add pineapple instead of traditional citrus. Peaches with white wine and plums with red wine are also perfect substitutes for apples. 

      Lastly, watermelon puree with your Sangria ingredients can add a refreshing and unique texture, especially on hot summer days

      Now that we’ve addressed the main ingredients in Sangria, what type of wine should you use?

      What is the Best Wine for Sangria?

      The best wines for Sangria are dry with fruity notes. Here are our recommended wines for both red and white Sangria. 

      Red Sangria | Macy's Wine Shop

      What is in Red Sangria?

      For red wine, something with moderate acidity and low tannins is best not to overpower the other ingredients. Spanish reds like Tempranillo and Grenache are highly recommended, along with Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel.

      A classic red Sangria recipe includes orange juice, a sweetener, Brandy, ice, orange and apple slices, and a cinnamon stick served in a pitcher.

      White Sangria | Macy's Wine Shop

      What is in White Sangria?

      Similar to red Sangria, dry, crisp white wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or Pinot Grigio work best.

      A refreshing white wine Sangria can include sparkling water, peach schnapps, strawberries, lime, mango, apple, and orange. 

      What Alcohol is in Sangria?

      Sangria alcohol content can vary greatly depending on the ingredients, how much liqueur is used, and the ABV of the wine you’re implementing. On average, Sangria may have an alcohol percentage of 12% or higher depending if there is liquor or not. 

      The Secret to Great Sangria

      While classic renditions are often the most popular, the secret to the perfect Sangria lies in your personal taste preferences. Why make Sangria with red wine when you prefer white? Favor berries over apples and oranges? There are countless ways to make your Sangria recipe unique. 

      All you need is your favorite dry wine, sugar, liquor, fruit, and sparkling soda. 

      For more recipes and wine insights, check out The Wine Blog. 

      Shop your next wine at The Wine Shop and find just what you need to make your own Sangria.