We’ve had some amazing run ins with sangria during our time living in Spain and over multiple visits. Sure, you can buy fizzy bottles of the stuff at convenience stores and order it at bars, but the best versions are homemade recipes, passed down generation to generation.

The drink is meant to water down wine a bit to keep you from getting too tipsy in the hot sun and stay mildly hydrated during sweltering summer days. The very Southern part of Spain has some specific British influences, sherry and brandy being some of the most important. These ingredients are added in to bring some complexity and replace alcohol lost in the melting ice while you hold your drink.

The best sangria recipe tried we was at a family barbecue, and only two members at a time were allowed to know the mix in case one passed away unexpectedly. Over the years, we’ve tried to replicate that famous recipe, which goes great with pinchos morunos (curried kebab skewers) and patatas a la pobre for a truly southern Spanish barbecue experience. Right now, we’ve found ourselves working on this recipe while enjoying a backyard fire more than ever. Feel free to make it your own by trying different fruit, switching brandy for calvados or even rum. And as with all Spanish meals, make sure there’s at least a little snack to carry you over to the next glass.

Southern Spanish Sangria

  • 750mL Spanish wine
  • 12 oz club soda
  • 4 oz brandy
  • 5 oz simple syrup
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick or ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon

| Preparation | Add wine, brandy, cinnamon and fruit in a pitcher or jar. Let it all steep together in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours (use a cinnamon stick for a long steep time and ground cinnamon if you're not wanting to wait. Once the mix tastes good and has had time to steep, pour in the club soda, serve over ice and garnish with sliced fruit.  seasonal so as summer progresses feel free to add peaches to the mix as it’s a classic sangria ingredient. And eat the fruit bits but be careful as they’ve likely absorbed a lot of the booze as well.

Pilsen Photo Co-op is a photo, video, styling and writing collaboration between Caleb Condit and Rebecca Norden. Their work has appeared on websites for Nordstrom, Tasting Table, Refinery29, HuntStand Media and Vice.

More Cocktail Recipes articles.