Ruby Sangria

A wine glass filled with ruby sangria, ice, and a fruit skewer on a floral-patterned serving tray.

Denise Gee, author of the cookbook in which this summery Spanish sipper appears, isn’t so keen on one particular aspect of this classic cocktail. You guessed it. We’re talking about “the wimped-out fruit floating around in your glass,” as she so eloquently explains. She just as eloquently sidesteps this sodden situation by straining out the booze fruit and perching teensy skewers of enticingly fresh fruit on the rim of the glass. We admit to not ever turning away boozy fruit, though we’re quite fond of this tidy little toothpick trick.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC Boozy Fruit Note

We like this sangria a lot. Although we’ve only made it according to the strict letter of the recipe, we’ve a sneaking suspicion, based on prior experiences with booze in tandem with fruit, that a little seasonal leeway isn’t a bad thing. Any stone fruit–cherries or peaches or plums or apricots–would, we think, be quite swell. Just be certain to first rid them of their pesky pits.

Ruby Sangria

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Serves 6 to 8
5/5 - 3 reviews
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Combine the red wine, brandy, liqueur, orange juice, and sugar in a large pitcher or container and stir well.

Add the oranges, red and green apples, and grapes. Chill the mixture for several hours at least.

Just before serving, add the sparkling water. If you’re not keen on sangria-logged, sodden fruit, strain the sangria, discarding the boozy fruit. To serve, pour the sangria into generously sized red-wine goblets or cocktail glasses filled with ice. Garnish the goblets with skewered fresh fruit, if desired.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Loved this! So simple, so straightforward, and soooo tasty. This is definitely going into our regular rotation. I used boxed wine from Target (the Vinter’s Blend Wine Cube) and made two versions: one with brandy, and one with Dogfish Head White Spiced Rum in place of the brandy. For the orange liqueur, I used Cointreau. I have to say, we preferred the white spiced rum version to the brandy version because the spiciness went very well with the fruity drink, but to each his own. Our favorite part of the recipe was the addition of sparkling water to add fizz. The hardest part of the recipe was cleaning and chopping the fruit. Otherwise, it was just a simple case of pour and stir. If I were to change one thing though, it’d be to use simple syrup instead of a 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in the recipe, just because it’d mix in better.

It seems to me that most sangrias are a watered-down, fruitier version of the wine they contain, but this Ruby Sangria is lovely, full-bodied, bold and rich, made possible with brandy, merlot, and Grand Marnier. The fruit, after chilling in the deep red wine, is beautiful and vibrantly colored. That color, combined with the slight effervescence, makes it a striking drink for celebrations and dinner parties. It’s an easy concoction to put together and requires only minimal planning ahead. I’ll definitely make it again, though I’d like to try it with some fresh berries to see how they complement the drink.


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  1. I’ve been enjoying a similar (without the sparkling water) recipe, but I also freeze green seedless grapes to add with the ice so they won’t water down the sangria while keeping it cool. I’m based in Arizona where we just went through a week where for 3 days it was 114 or above…we need all the help we can get with keeping the drinks cold :)

  2. I made this sangria without the sparkling water over the weekend for a party and it was a huge hit. I actually ended up making 5 recipes’ worth—3 with a syrah grenache and 2 with a merlot. I could hardly keep enough on the table! It was perfect for an early summer day bbq!

    1. Excellent question, Tae. We almost added a note to the recipe but then decided not to, so as not to hinder people’s choices given that essentially any inexpensive red wine will work. Plonk will still taste like plonk, but you can easily get by with an under $12 bottle. Look for virtually any Spanish table wine. And don’t laugh, but merlot works well if you like it really smooth and subtle. As for specific recommendations, garnacha can be lovely. For something slightly bolder, try a Rioja. Salud!

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