When it comes to cocktails, there are some people who like simple drinks, and those who like things a little more complex. As much as a muddled, double-strained, and whipped drink can be refreshing, sometimes it's even better to sip something that was just mixed together. That's the case for sangria, which usually comes down to fresh fruit slices, alcohol, and patience.
Keep reading for easy sangria recipes that'll sweeten up any summer party menu.
The Hero Ingredient: Lavender syrup. As if sipping a cool cup of sangria wasn't relaxing enough, How Sweet Eats's lavender sangria recipe combines the classic ingredients with lavender syrup to make it even more calming. A bottle of pinot grigio and a cup of brandy help with that feeling, too.
Pro Tip: "I threw some strawberries in there too because what is sangria without boozy fruit?" says recipe creator and author Jessica Merchant from How Sweet Eats. "Of course you can add whatever you'd like—citrus, apples, berries—anything that may soak up the wine."
The Hero Ingredient: Fresh fruit. This classic sangria recipe from Martha Stewart doesn't require much else but fresh fruit and ample time. Combine slices of an orange, apple, lime, and grapes with brandy, lemon-lime soda, and dry red wine, and stir. Then wait for the party to start.
Pro Tip: "Give this sangria time to sit—the longer the fruits and wine get to know each other, the better," the recipe says.
The Hero Ingredient: A bottle of dry rosé. It makes the base for this perfect summer cocktail by How Sweet Eats, which is bolstered by melon balls, strawberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon. In other words, you can't go wrong.
Pro Tip: "To serve, rim a glass with some orange sugar, add ice and some of the boozy fruit, and pour the sangria over top," says Merchant.
Frozen Watermelon Rosé Sangria Slushies
The Hero Ingredient: Tequila. This recipe from Half Baked Harvest adds a splash of tequila, frozen watermelon, and raspberries to the mix for a cocktail that looks and feels like a vacation.
Pro Tip: "Any frozen berry will work, but I like raspberries for their tart flavor and red color," says Half Baked Harvest's Tieghan Gerard.
Summertime Rosé Tequila Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Flavored kombucha. Half Baked Harvest's rosé tequila sangria recipe is also something you should whip up while the weather is warm. Thanks to plenty of fresh fruits—like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, and lime—silver tequila, and flavored kombucha, it's the ideal drink to sip outside.
Pro Tip: "Top with sparkling water or kombucha," instructs Gerard. Then, "garnish with basil and edible flowers."
Sparkling Hard Apple Cider Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Hard cider. Kristin Porter at Iowa Girl Eats has made a sangria recipe with a twist by including two cans of hard cider into the mix. By pouring that in with white wine and slices of apples and pears, this is a drink that will be just as tasty when you make it in the fall.
Pro Tip: Kristin used Smith and Forge Hard Apple Cider for this recipe, alongside a bottle of sauvignon blanc, and stirred in cinnamon sticks for added flavor.
Sparkling White Peach Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: White peaches. It doesn't get easier than a four-ingredient sangria, and this sparkling white peach sangria recipe from The Kitchn is just that. All it takes are white peaches, peach or apricot brandy, Moscato wine, and peach seltzer water to make this sweet refresher.
Pro Tip: "Stir with a wooden spoon to mix," recipe creator Maureen Petrosky says. "Pour into ice-filled glasses and top with a couple of fresh peach slices."
Cucumber Melon White Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Limoncello. The blogger behind Hello Glow, Stephanie Gerber, lightens things up with this white sangria recipe, which is filled with the summer-friendly flavors of mint, melon, lime, and cucumber.
Pro Tip: "You can also add ginger to your fruit (strain it out before serving), or top off each glass with flavored sparkling water or your favorite soda," explains Gerber.
The Hero Ingredient: Pineapple rum. All of six ingredients make up this recipe from Garnish With Lemon, including pineapple rum, basil leaves, and the namesake fruit that's been peeled, cored, and sliced. There are also slices of lime.
Pro Tip: "The last ingredient, fresh basil, is a must," says Garnish With Lemon co-creator Anna Schaber. "Infusing the pineapple sangria with the basil gives it just a hint of herbal flavor that adds a lovely dimension to the cocktail."
Blood Orange Ginger White Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Blood oranges, which always make for an eye-catching display. This sangria recipe from Salt and Wind is an attention-grabber that also happens to be delicious. Mix it with raspberries, strawberries, kumquats, and orange liqueur for a decadent finish.
Pro Tip: "Strain the sangria into a pitcher and discard the soaked berries," Salt and Wind founder and recipe creator Aida Mollenkamp notes. "Add a few fresh raspberries, strawberries, and all the sliced kumquats and blood oranges."
Red Wine Citrus Pomegranate Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Pomegranate. While pomegranates can make it into refreshing sangria recipes year-round, this sangria recipe from Flavour and Savour works for warmer months, too. Thinly-sliced oranges and lemon are intertwined with pomegranate juice and red wine to give the star fruit even more flavor and color.
Pro Tip: "If you use honey instead of simple syrup, you may find that it settles to the bottom of the pitcher. Just give it a stir before serving," recipe creator Elaine says.
The Hero Ingredient: Honey. This frozen sangria recipe from A Couple Cooks is not only refreshing on a hot day, but it's also healthier than your average sangria, thanks to the addition of honey rather than sugar.
Pro Tip: "Frozen sangria is not traditional or authentic: so the method is quite different from sangria itself! It’s less like making sangria and more like making a wine smoothie," says recipe creators Sonja and Alex.
The Hero Ingredient: Guava juice. You'll be dreaming of a beach vacation thanks to Boulder Locavore's tropical sangria recipe. Guava joice mixed with tropical fruits and semi-sweet Riesling wine make this a summer cocktail must-have.
Pro Tip: "My recommendation is to make sangria in large infusing jars with spigots. This allows you to easily fill a glass from the refrigerator without taking the container out or having to strain the fruit manually," says recipe creator Toni.
The Hero Ingredient: Ginger beer. If you thought sangria was just for summer, think again. Ginger beer combines with pear, orange, and cinnamon for a holiday-worthy cocktail in this Christmas sangria recipe from Half Baked Harvest.
Pro Tip: "To make this more than a few hours in advance, just add all the ingredients minus the ginger beer. Then before serving, stir in the ginger beer!" Gerard says.
Pro Tip: Make sure to use fresh peaches rather than frozen, and add the prosecco just before serving so it doesn't lose any bubble.
The Hero Ingredient: Lemon Juices. Sometimes sangria can taste a little too sweet, but the tart lemons in this cava sangria recipe from Pickled Plum keep everything in check and balance out the flavors.
Pro Tip: You can also use rosé Cava in this recipe as well!
The Hero Ingredient: Mango. Fresh mango always transports us straight to the tropics, so we love the addition of it in this summer sangria recipe from Hello Glow. It's all your summer favorites in one delicious drink.
Pro Tip: "I always ask for a recommendation at the wine store because they can usually steer you to an inexpensive bottle that will work well in sangria," Gerber says.
Roasted Cherry Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Cherries. You don't typically associate sangria with cherries, but this roasted cherry sangria recipe from Foodie Crush will convince you it's time to start. The cherry flavor pairs perfectly with rosé.
Pro Tip: "I spruced my version up with slices of oranges and some sprigs of fresh mint. Rosemary or basil would be equally tasty enhancements if you’re looking to spike it up the flavor values even more," says recipe creator Heidi.
Apple Blackberry Hard Cider Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Apple soda. Summer meets fall in this recipe from Hola Jalapeno. Juicy blackberries combine with apple cider, apple soda, apple brandy, and fresh apple slices for a refreshing sangria that's perfect for Labor Day weekend.
Pro Tip: "I used my favorite Mexican soda Sidral Mundet which I was delighted to find also comes in a green apple flavor that is tart and fizzy and perfect for this drink, but if you can’t find it you can use non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider instead," recipe creator Kate Ramos says.