Try a unique twist on the classic sangria! This delicious bourbon sangria recipe is made with whiskey and perfectly balanced with cinnamon. Perfect for summer gatherings or holiday parties!
If you want easy entertaining, I recommend creating your favorite pitcher cocktail or two. It allows you to impress your guests with your mixology and flavors while still allowing you to be present to your guests. Made ahead this makes the perfect easy drink for parties.
Sangria is easy to make. I recommend the ratio of 2 parts wine, 1 part fruit juice, and ½ alcohol (your choice) plus some fresh fruit and other simple flavorings. That last ½ part gives a little punch and flavor to the sangria. With this simple ratio, you can have a lot of fun making delicious sangria. If you tend to like sweeter sangria, you can add simple syrup or additional sweeteners or even do equal parts of wine and fruit juice.
For this Bourbon Sangria Recipe, we are going to use cabernet sauvignon, which is a dry red wine. I am going to use cranberry juice and of course bourbon. Now, you don't need to use your best, most expensive bourbon, in fact, I usually drink my bourbon neat. For this type of recipe, you can use a cheaper bourbon but you still want to make sure that it is a good quality bourbon with great flavor.
I also use some fresh fruit (apple slices and orange slices) and cinnamon sticks.
How to Make Bourbon Sangria
In a large pitcher, at least 1 liter in size. Add your sliced fruit. I used oranges, and apples, and then add your cinnamon sticks.
Next, we are going to pour our sangria ingredients over them. First, add wine, then bourbon, then cranberry juice.
Use a long spoon to mix all the ingredients together. Then cover the pitcher and set it in your refrigerator. I like to allow it to sit in the frig for at least 4 hours, overnight gets you the best results.
Here's a cool tip. As you serve the sangria, don't allow the fruit and cinnamon to pour out of the pitcher, it will splash into the glass and make a mess and you want to save it. Once the pitcher is empty, except for the cinnamon sticks and fruit, you can just refill it with wine, juice, and bourbon again. I find you can get about three batches of sangria out of one pitcher.
We prefer to add fresh fruits to the wine glass or other glasses we serve the sangria in.
Summer White Sangria - If you are looking for more of a summer-flavored sangria, try using white wine, with orange juice, and peach schnapps. Garnish with fresh peach slices. Pineapple juice and apple juice also work well in any fruity sangria recipe.
Fall Apple Sangria - For more of a fall flavor swap out the cranberry juice for non-alcoholic apple cider or unfiltered apple juice and add a splash of Grand Marnier. We love this simple variation to make a fall sangria recipe. Blood oranges also add a nice color to this easy recipe.
Lighter Sangria - For a light sangria add some ginger ale, soda water, club soda, or unflavored unsweetened seltzer. We do this with white sangria in the summer heat when we want a light bubbly drink.
Sweeter Sangria - If you like your sangria on the sweet side add more sugar syrup or use honey or maple syrup. Add extra sliced citrus fruits to balance the sweetness.
What type of wine should I use in sangria?
Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. If you prefer white wine sangria, pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc are great choices for white sangrias. Or for a sweeter flavor, you can use fruity wines like a sweet Moscato wine. Check out this recipe for Box Wine Sangria to see how we use inexpensive wine for sangria.
What liquor is used in sangria?
Recipes for classic sangrias will typically call for brandy. We do make a traditional sangria recipe on occasion but do enjoy playing with the flavors as well. But you can also use flavored brandies and cordials like triple sec, grand mariner, or even peach schnapps.
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 4 oz bourbon
- 1 cup apples chopped
- 1 orange sliced
- 2 oz simple syrup optional
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Let rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator (preferably overnight) to let the flavors meld.
- Serve in goblets over ice. Garnish with additional fruit, as desired.