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Emilia Delfino
June 14, 2024 | Emilia Delfino

The Perfect Summer Wine Cocktail: Sangria

As the warm days of summer approach, there's no better way to cool down and celebrate the season than with a refreshing glass of sangria. This delightful wine cocktail, with its roots in Spain, has become a popular favorite worldwide. Bursting with vibrant flavors and colorful fruits, sangria is the ultimate drink for summer gatherings, patio lounging, or simply enjoying a sunny afternoon. Let’s dive into the history, variations, and recipe of this beloved summer cocktail.

A Brief History of Sangria

Sangria's origins trace back to Spain and Portugal, where it has been enjoyed for centuries. The name "sangria" comes from the Spanish word "sangre," meaning blood, a nod to the deep red color of the traditional version made with red wine. Sangria was introduced to the United States at the 1964 World's Fair in New York, where it quickly gained popularity. Today, sangria is enjoyed in many forms and flavors, making it a versatile and beloved cocktail around the globe.

Variations of Sangria

While traditional sangria is made with red wine, fruit, and a splash of brandy, there are countless variations to suit every taste and occasion. Here are a few popular types of sangria:

  1. Red Sangria: The classic version, made with red wine, such as Tempranillo or Garnacha, mixed with citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, and often a touch of brandy or orange liqueur.
  2. White Sangria: A lighter, more refreshing take using white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, combined with fruits like apples, peaches, and berries. A splash of elderflower liqueur or peach schnapps adds a delightful twist.
  3. Rosé Sangria: Perfect for summer, this version uses rosé wine, offering a beautiful pink hue and a delicate flavor. Pair it with strawberries, raspberries, and a hint of mint for a refreshing treat.
  4. Sparkling Sangria: For a festive touch, use sparkling wine or Champagne. Mix with a variety of fruits and a splash of your favorite liqueur to create a bubbly and celebratory drink.
  5. Seasonal Sangria: Get creative with seasonal fruits and flavors. In summer, try tropical fruits like pineapple and mango; in fall, opt for apples, pears, and cinnamon.

Classic Traditional Sangria Recipe


  • Bottle of red wine - 1
  • Sparkling water - 2 ¼ cups (500 g)
  • Cognac - ¼ cup (50 g)
  • Apples -  ½ lb (230 g)
  • Oranges - 1 ⅓ lb (600 g)
  • Peaches - 0.9 lb (400 g)
  • Lemons -  ¾ lb (350 g)
  • Sugar -  ⅔ cup (120 g)
  • Vanilla bean -  1
  • Cinnamon sticks - 2
  • Cloves - 6
  • Ice


  1. Wash the apples and the peaches, without removing the skin, cut them first into slices, then into strips, and finally into small cubes.
  2. Juice one lemon and one orange and set aside.
  3. Cut half of the remaining oranges into slices, and the other half into cubes, without removing the peel. Do the same with the remaining lemons.
  4. Pour the apple and peach cubes into a large bowl, and then add the juice from the citrus fruits and cut up oranges and lemons.
  5.  Add red wine and sugar and mix well.
  6. Move on to the spices: cut along the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrap out the seeds using the blade of a knife, then add both the bean and the seeds to the bowl.
  7. Arrange the cinnamon sticks and cloves in a tea infuser to make it easier to remove them later. Place the infuser directly into the bowl or, alternatively, add the spices without using the infuser.
  8. Pour in the cognac, stir, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave it to rest in the fridge for a few hours or, even better, overnight.
  9. Once the infusion time has passed, remove the vanilla bean and spices, then add the sparkling water and ice. Give your sangria one last stir and it’s ready for serving!

Tips for the Best Sangria

  • Choose Good Wine: While you don’t need an expensive bottle, choose a wine you enjoy drinking on its own.
  • Let It Marinate: Allow the sangria to sit in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors meld together
  • Sweeten to Taste: Adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar, honey, or agave syrup if needed
  • Get Creative: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different wines, fruits, and liqueurs to create your perfect blend.

In conclusion, Sangria is more than just a cocktail; it's a celebration of summer’s bounty and a testament to the joy of sharing good times with friends and family. Whether you stick to the classic red sangria or venture into creative variations, this versatile wine cocktail is sure to be a hit at any gathering. So grab a pitcher, mix up some sangria, and toast to a wonderful summer!



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