The Best Sangria Recipe We Found!

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Sangria is such a fun drink to make – especially in the summer.

But often times, sugar is added and it can be a little too sweet for some.

So we went searching for the perfect sangria recipe! And we found it – at Bin 36 in Chicago. And lucky for us, owner Enoch Shully walked us through it.

Granted, he has a Sangria tower.

But you certainly can replicate this recipe without it. Just put all the ingredients below in a big pitcher -- or even a Ziploc bag!

Here’s what you need.

1. Big Red Wine

Authentic Sangria is from Spain and Portugal so ideally, use their big bold reds.

Like a Monastrell or a Tempranillo from Spain. Or a Vinho Tinto from Portugal. But the truth is, any big full-bodied red wine will work. So if you’re a Cabernet Sauvignon die-hard, go for it. Just save the Pinot Noir for another day.

2. Cognac

For every bottle of wine you use, add 3oz of Cognac, says Shully. The Cognac will fortify the wine, which means it will last much longer. It also means you don’t need to add more sugar. The alcohol in the Cognac adds more than enough sugar.

3. Spices.

Yes, Spices.

Spices are what make this recipe so great. So get a get a piece of cheese cloth and throw in some of the following spices.

  • Star Anise
  • Coriander
  • Black peppercorn
  • White Peppercorn
  • Cinnamon sticks

Tie up your cheese cloth and drop it in your wine/cognac mixture.

4. Fruit

Cut up some of your favorite fruits and throw them in too. The sugar from the fruit will seep out into the wine mixture, so again, no need to add more. And that extra sugar in the wine also will make it last longer.

5. Patience.

The longer you let your mixture sit, the better it will taste. Leave it overnight at a minimum but a few days would be better.

Big note before you finally pour yourself a glass though: Don’t eat the fruit! Unlike your college days, eating the fruit will just taste gross. The Cognac sucked the life (and the sugar) out of it, so it’ll probably taste like cardboard.

Just cut up fresh fruit to garnish.

And now thanks to the Cognac and the fruit, you can keep this Sangria on your counter and drink it for up to 14 days. No need to add anything. Just fresh fruit.

So knock off a daily fruit serving and enjoy!

Full Transcript

TB: Hey welcome to Sip Around Town. I’m Tracy Byrnes, your host here at Bin36 in Chicago with owner Enoch Sholly, Enoch thank you for being with us.ES; Thank you.

TB: Okay, I’m sure you’re wondering what this is. It is like the largest… god I don’t even know what it is… that I’ve ever seen, but you’re making sangria.

ES: I’m making sangria. So I call this “The Tower.”

TB: The Tower!

ES: Yes!

TB: The Sangria Tower!

ES: Sangria Tower. People say, “what is that thing at the bar?” It looks like a scientific project you’re working on. It’s science to be honest. Long time ago, when people were learning the craft of making wine,

ES: Most of the wine, these winemakers, wine didn’t last two days. They would make wine, they didn’t have the facilities to store the wine in.

TB: They didn’t have refrigerators.

ES: They didn’t have refrigerators. So they were thinking, "how the hell are we gonna try to make this a very good wine?" So over time they realized, the more they added fruit after wine is made, the longer the wine would last. So that fruit once it starts crushing.

TB: So the sugar comes out into the fruit.

ES: Sugar comes into the fruit and you’ve got all the cinnamon that is left at the bottom. The wine would last 2 extra days, 3 extra days. So they realized, wait.. it doesn’t taste the way it did last time, it's a little more sour now, but it's lasting longer.

TB: Okay but wait.. lets talk about how you make sangria if you don’t have this tower.

TB: Lets talk about how to make sangria

TB:…if you don’t have this tower…its wine…fruit

ES: Very good question… You go to the store…you go to whole foods… get a little bag that you can seal..

TB: Yeah like those cheese clothy bags

ES: Exactly

ES: Take a little bit of those spices…in the bag…the fruit…inside there. Take the wine in there…pour in cognac

TB: Leave it in there

ES: Seal the bag…Leave it for 24 hours

ES: Sunday people are coming over…take it out…strain it into a pitcher…ready to serve…just like that

TB: That’s brill…OK so you take the herbs out though obviously

ES: You.. yeah you strain…

TB: You take your little cheesecloth of herbs

ES: Yep…right

TB: You take the fruit out

ES: Yep

TB: Because its not good anymore

ES: Take the fruit out because I can’t…That fruit might make you a little sick in the morning if…just strain it in a strainer and it will be good

TB: Alright…here…I’m raising my glass to you

ES: Thank you

TB: Thank you so much

ES: Enjoy

TB: Thank you

Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip. 

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