A Beginner’s Sangria Recipe


I’ve enjoyed Sangria many times, in lots of versions, but I hadn’t made it until last night. The concept is to mix red wine with water, fruit, liqueur/brandy and sugar. There are tons of recipes available and everyone seems to take a slightly different slant on proportions.

I settled on a calculated roll of the dice using of a ratio of 1 bottle of red wine to 1/2 cup of sugar syrup to 1/2 c of alcohol/brandy and 3/4 bottle of sparkling water. Lady luck must have been on my side, as the Sangria was a huge hit. I was asked to write down the recipe and repeat – soon!

To make the sugar simple syrup:

Zest from 1 lime

1/2c Palm Sugar or Whole Cane Sugar

1/2c Water

Boil 1/2c of water with 1/2c of sugar and the zest of 1 lime until the mixture boils and the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir well. Cool. You can do this in the microwave and it takes just a couple of minutes depending on the power of yours. The mixture will be dark brown. It’s great for the Red Sangria. If you were making a White Sangria you might consider choosing a lighter color or more refined sugar.

Cool it faster in a metal bowl in the colder part of your fridge or in the freezer. Mine took about 30mns in the fridge before I could add it. You can make the syrup a few days ahead and keep it covered in the fridge.


Red Sangria Recipe

2 Tart Apples – Cored but not peeled cut into cubes

1/2 Orange – Rind and pith removed cut into cubes

Handful of Bronx Grapes (optional) – Seeded

I Cinnamon Stick – Broken in half

1 Bottle Red Wine – I used a Côtes du Rhône

1/2c of Amaro Liqueur – I used Magerum Amaro*

3/4 Bottle of Sparkling Mineral Water (to taste)

Juice of 1 Lime

Juice of 1/2 Orange (Valencia preferred)

1/2c of Simple Syrup – I used the Lime Simple Syrup recipe above.

To a large pitcher add apples, orange pieces, lime juice, orange juice, Amaro, crushed grapes, cinnamon sticks and cooled sugar syrup. Mix well. I used Honeycrisp Apples. Other good choices would be Cox’s Orange Pippin or Granny Smith. You want to choose a hard flesh crisp tart apple. Softer flesh apples will fall apart.

Add the bottle of Red Wine. Mix Well and taste.

Add Sparkling Water tasting after 1/2 the bottle. If you want the Sangria lighter add some more water.

If you are making this a few hours ahead for a party then add everything but the water. Then add the water just before serving.

To serve spoon some apple pieces into each glass and then pour the wine mixture over them.

I think Sangria is best served fresh. You can make it a few hours ahead but if you have to make the night before, leave the fresh fruit out until a few hours before serving.



*About Amaro – It’s an Italian herbal liqueur which is often drunk as a digestif. It contains herbs, roots and citrus, macerated in a grape spirits base. The Margerum Amaro is made from Sangiovese, herbs, barks, orange peel and carmelized simple syrup. I purchased our bottle at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco.

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