Nigella Lawson’s Sangria

July 3, 2014

With the temperatures in Boston hitting 90+ F in the past two days there’s no denying that summer is here. I love sangria any time of the year but for me, it is the epitome of a summer drink. It’s fitting that my favorite, go-to recipe comes from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer.

I noticed that the recipe in my cookbook is stained with red wine – a testament to the number of times I’ve made this recipe. It’s easy – just a combination of red wine, fruits, sugar, and brandy.

Simple ingredients make a fantastic drink

I like using a Spanish wine – a tempranillo or rioja – something fruity but not too full bodied. I tend to buy my wines from Trader Joe’s – they have good, drinkable wines at a good price. Since I’m not a connoisseur by any means, I read the descriptions they provide and look for wines with lots of fruity notes. And since I’m making sangria I rarely choose a bottle that’s more than $5.

Fruit for sangria

Other than the type of wine – Nigella recommends a Cabernet Sauvignon – my only other deviation is to include a lime or two. If by chance the sangria lasts longer than 24 hours then be sure to remove the fruits and store them separately – don’t throw them out. The rind from the citrus fruits will turn the sangria bitter if left for too long. The fruits on their own are delicious after they’ve soaked in the wine and brandy.

Fruits being prepped for sangria

What to serve with sangria

I often serve sangria with some simple tapas for a light supper on a hot summer night. A couple of my favorites are tomato and goat cheese toasts and hot & sweet cherry peppers stuffed with feta or goat cheese.

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Sangria, ready to enjoy


  • Author: Nigella Lawson
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This is a quintessential summer drink (Modified slightly from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer)



Two 750 ml bottles of fruity Spanish red wine

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/41/3 cup brandy, to taste

1 lemon, sliced

1 orange, sliced

1 lime, sliced

1 apple, cored and sliced

soda water, optional


In a large pitcher mix everything except the soda water, using the smaller amount of brandy. Let it macerate in the refrigerator overnight.

Taste before serving and add more brandy and/or sugar if needed. The sangria can be mellowed with some soda water if desired.


From Forever Summer © 2003 by Nigella Lawson

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 8 hours
  • Category: beverages, drinks
  • Cuisine: Spanish


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 259.88
  • Sugar: 24.27 g.
  • Sodium: 8.5 mg.
  • Fat: 0.18 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 0.02 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 30.85 g.
  • Fiber: 1.55 g.
  • Protein: 0.55 g.
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: red wine, brandy

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