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How to Make Sangria in 8 Steps: Common Ingredients and More

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There are different varieties of wine that deserve attention. Wine cocktails are great drinks too, and need a spot on most beverage menus. Although most wine enthusiasts prefer to have their wine as is and will experiment only with different styles, cocktails are great, too. 

As you probably know, sangria is one of the most popular drinks with a wine base. It can be made with any type of wine, even with sparkling wine. Although it’s typically served alongside Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, it’s such a versatile drink that it can be combined with other foods as well.

Knowing how to make sangria is an important part of being a professional bartender. If you are a restaurant owner you can rest assured that you can easily add this drink to your beverage offers. However, it’s crucial to know what kind of ingredients can be used. Getting inspired by the various recipes you can recreate, too.

If you want to stand out from the crowd and serve the best sangria in the whole area, keep reading. We will let you in on all the secrets of how to make sangria and help your restaurant be even more successful!

Download our FREE sangria ebook now!

What Is Sangria? 

Sangria is a mixed alcoholic drink that originates from Spain. It is typically made with red wine, but you can use other types of wine, too. Sangria includes chopped fruit and often other spirits as well.

This means that the alcohol content (ABV) of sangria can vary. Typically the ABV falls between 5% and 15% depending on the wine used and whether or not you include other liquor. 

Key Takeaway: There is not one perfect sangria recipe. Learn how to make sangria by experimenting with the different ingredients that are most commonly used and follow the steps of mixing them. A great sangria will help you earn return customers!

How to Make Sangria: Common Ingredients

There isn’t just one answer to the question “how to make sangria.” This delicious wine drink can be made with a variety of ingredients. The fact you can use different ingredients for sangria makes it easier to incorporate in a beverage menu. Versions of the drink can also be selected based on the cuisine and specific dishes in the restaurant.

Here is the full list of most common ingredients used to make sangria: 

Red Wine

Red wine is the one typically used for sangria. Choose a medium to full-bodied red wine like a Tempranillo. Garnacha or Merlot will work great, too. Use a wine that you would personally prefer. You can also look into your beverage inventory and choose some bottles that need to be used up sooner. 


There are three different categories of fruit that you need for the perfect sangria:

  • Citrus Fruits - Oranges and lemons are classic choices. Limes, too. They add a citrusy brightness to the sangria. 
  • Berries - Strawberries and raspberries can add sweetness to the drink. You can use blueberries as well. 
  • Pears or Apples - Sliced apples or pears provide more flavor and crispness.


Although the most popular way to sweeten sangria is by adding sugar, there are other options, too. Simple syrup and agave syrup are also an option. Choose the sweetener you prefer and add it to taste. 


Using liquor in the sangria is optional. But if you prefer to add more alcohol, choose between brandy and triple sec. A splash of either of these alcohols will add depth and complexity to the sangria. Just like with the sweetener, you can adjust the amount of alcohol based on your preference. 


Fruit juice will add more sweetness and citrus flavor to the sangria. Although you are going to add fruit slices to the drink, they don’t always give the desired flavor. That’s why in many articles on how to make sangria or recipes, you will find that people use orange or other fruit juices. Pineapple or pomegranate juices are commonly used to add extra flavor. 

Other Ingredients You Can Use to Make Sangria

There are some additional ingredients that people and cocktail experts all over the world like to use when preparing sangria. Some of these ingredients add a different flavor and aroma to sangria and are worth trying. 

Sparkling Water or Soda

To add effervescence, you can mix sparkling water or soda into your sangria. Pour the sparkly drink into the mix right before serving so you can maintain the bubbles. 

Herbs and Spices

If you are preparing your list of summer cocktails and want to add sangria to it, consider using herbs and spices for the recipe. Mint and basil can bring a fragrant note to your sangria. 


Unique ice cubes are trending right now. You can freeze some herbs and spices, as well as fruits into ice cubes. These cubes will serve to both chill the drink and boost flavor. 

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How to Make Sangria: 8 Steps to Make Sangria

Now that we have discussed all of the ingredients, it’s time to talk about the steps. Here is what you need to do!

1. Prepare the Fruit

Wash and slice all the fruits you are going to use. Remove the seeds and pits if it is necessary.

2. Mix the Wine and Sweetener

In a big pitcher, combine the wine you chose with the sweetener. Stir until the sugar or other sweetener is fully dissolved. 

3. Add Fruits

Put the slices of fruit into the wine mixture. Squeeze some juice from the citrus fruit inside the drink. 

4. Liquor

If you are going to use brandy or triple sec, now is the time to do so. Pour some into the pitcher and stir well. 

5. Chill

Put the sangria into a refrigerator for a few hours. This will allow the flavors to meld. It’s even better if you can put the sangria in the fridge overnight. 

6. Add Sparkling Water

If you want to add sparkling water to your sangria, do that right before you…

7. Serve

Pour sangria into a glass over ice. Make sure some of the fruit pieces get into the glass. They will add both flavor and appeal to the drink you are about to give to your customer. 

8. Garnish

Although a cocktail garnish is not a must for sangria, you can still add a lemon slice or twist to the glass. Visual appeal is very important in this day and age, so don’t miss a chance to make your drinks look better. 

Sangria is versatile, so feel free to adjust the quantities and ingredients based on your taste preferences. Experimenting with different fruit combinations and additional ingredients can make your sangria unique and enjoyable.

Download our FREE sangria ebook now!

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Make Sangria

To make the best sangria for your restaurant, you need to know how to make a basic sangria. Here are the answers to common questions about how to make sangria!

What Is Commonly Used to Garnish Sangria?

Common sangria garnishes include fresh herbs like mint or basil, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Extra fruit slices can also be added for extra visual appeal and flavor. A skewer with fruits is also pretty and easy to add as a garnish. 

Can Sangria Be Made with White Wine?

Yes, sangria can be made with white wine. Use a crisp and refreshing white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. The choice of fruits and other ingredients can be adjusted to complement the flavor of the white wine.

Can Frozen Fruit Be Used in Sangria?

Yes, frozen fruit can be used in sangria and as a way to chill the sangria. Frozen berries or citrus fruits will work well. They can be used with ice or as an alternative to ice. 

Do I Need to Use Expensive Wine to Make Sangria?

No. Sangria is a forgiving drink that can be made with affordable wines. Since the wine is mixed with other ingredients, including fruits and sweeteners, you don't need to use top-shelf wine. Choose a wine that you enjoy drinking on its own. This is how you make sangria to fit your taste and budget!

How Far in Advance Can I Make Sangria?

Sangria is best when it's allowed to sit and mingle flavors for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the fruits to infuse their flavors into the wine, resulting in a more harmonious and delicious drink. However, you can also make Sangria right before serving if you're short on time.

What’s the Best Way to Serve Sangria?

Sangria is typically served chilled over ice in glasses or pitchers. You can garnish individual servings with additional fruit slices or fresh herbs for a decorative touch. Sangria is perfect for outdoor gatherings, picnics, or brunches with friends and family.

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