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Substitute for Brandy in Sangria: 9 Alternatives (2022)

Last Updated on November 25, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Did you know that a refreshing drink like Sangria can be enjoyed without the usual brandy?

You can easily get away from the classic Sangria with some excellent alcoholic and non-alcoholic substitutes.  

Don’t look any further. We’ve found the best substitute for brandy in Sangria to level up the drink. Keep reading.

Top 9 Brandy Substitutes In Sangria 

9. Grand Marnier

pouring Grand Marnier on a glass

Grand Marnier is an orange-flavored liqueur that adds a great aroma and sweetness to any drink, perfect for making a refreshing and flavorful Sangria. 

Grand Marnier is made from a combination of French brandy, sugar, and bitter orange, and it can be used in place of the brandy for a one-to-one ratio. 

8. Vodka

vodka in a glass

You can also try vodka as a substitute for brandy in Sangria. It is odorless, tasteless, and colorless, and it doesn’t affect the taste of your drink. 

Although it may slightly alter the taste of your Sangria recipe, it won’t cause any noticeable difference. 

7. Rum

pouring rum on a glass with jigger

Rum is a good substitute for brandy in Sangria as it crafts a well-balanced drink that delivers sweetness to the overall flavor. 

The fresh fruit in this popular wine drink usually absorbs the rum, combining the fruity notes to craft a refreshing yet complex drink. 

We suggest mixing Blue Curacao rum to create a citrusy feel to achieve better results. 

6. Triple Sec

McGuinness Triple Sec and a Cointreau Bottle

You can replace brandy in Sangria with Triple Sec, an orange liqueur, to add a citrusy touch to the recipe. 

When mixed in a Sangria, Triple Sec tastes well with any chopped fruit like apples, pineapples, oranges, and other fruit infused with any wine-based drink.  

But note that despite its citrus flavor, it can contain an ABV as high as 40 percent. So, mix generously. 

5. Gin

3 Different Brand of Gin Bottles

Another great alternative to brandy in Sangria is gin [1], which adds a crisp and herbal note to the drink. 

Instead of using brandy extract (an artificial brandy flavoring), mix Sangria with gin to retain its tasty profile with a little booze.  

Gin can also be used in different recipes apart from Sangria, and it’s ideal to use it with meats.

4. Sparkling Juice

2 glasses of sparkling juice drink

Sparkling juice is a non-alcoholic substitute for brandy. It imparts Sangria with a mellow and freshening taste.  

You can enhance the citrus notes by using flavored sparkling juices like pomegranate, raspberry, blueberry, and grape juice. 

It does not only add a refreshing, fruity flavor but a touch of carbonation, resulting in a bubbly Sangria recipe.  

3. Cherry Juice or Apple Juice

glass of cherry juice and bowl of cherries

Cherry juice is one of the best non-alcoholic substitutes for brandy. This fruit juice is relatively cheap and can be used in various recipes, especially if you avoid alcoholic beverages. 

The sweetness of cherries is much greater than that of brandy, so your drink may taste a bit sweeter. 

“Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.”

 

— Louis Pasteur, French Chemist/Microbiologist

You can use cherry juice with reduced sugar, and other options include raspberries, apples, black currants, and pomegranates.

Additionally, you can try apple juice instead of cherry juice.

Apple juice is another alcohol-free ingredient that you can add to Sangria on a 1:1 ratio to achieve your desired flavor and taste. 

2. Soda

Schweppes Club Soda Water in can

Soda, such as ginger ale and club soda, makes a great substitute brandy in Sangria.

Avoid caffeinated and dark sodas such as Pepsi and Coke. Instead, make your Sangria by choosing clear non-caffeinated drinks. 

When you have a certain flavor in mind, add a club soda to your Sangria.

However, you still need to add some fizz to finish it off. If you prefer a sweeter quencher, opt for ginger ale.

1. Whiskey

pouring whisky on a whisky

Whiskey is the best substitute for brandy as it shares similar alcohol content and flavor, making it an excellent mix in Sangria recipes. 

Although whiskey has a stronger alcohol flavor due to its fermented grain mash, compared to brandy, it still adds a bold flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the Sangria punch. 

For the best substitute whiskey, we highly recommend the Johnnie Walker Red Label, as it gives an impressive layer of depth at a price you can afford. 

FAQs

Can you make a Sangria taste good without brandy?

Yes, you can still make a Sangria taste good without brandy. However, if you want an authentic Spanish Sangria, it requires brandy, specifically the Spanish brandy–Brandy De Jerez.

But for a modern twist, you can replace the brandy’s fruity flavor with various substitutes like red and white wines, fruit juices, vodka, gin, whiskey, and more. 

What does Sangria taste like without brandy?

Sangria tastes sweet and fruity with hints of dark spices, even without the brandy. 

Can Sangria, even without brandy, make you drunk?

Yes, a Sangria without brandy can still make you drunk. Still, it has wine, which contains alcohol, that can make you drunk after a couple of glasses.  

Wine contains alcohol, and if you use strong wine, it can make you drunk after having two or more glasses.   

In Conclusion 

When it comes to replacing brandy in Sangria [2] , there are many alternatives you can try. 

If you prefer an alcohol-free drink, use cherry or apple juice and sparkling juice instead. But if you like it sweet, make it with Grand Marnier, gin, or rum. 

You can also add other ingredients to enhance the flavor of your drink, such as sugarcane juice, fruit extract, and spices.

But for better results, we highly recommend using whiskey or wines (either red wine, white wine, or other fruit-driven wines). 

These drinks can transform your simple Sangria into a modern twist that you can enjoy any season, at any time of the day. 

References: 

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/gin-liquor 
  2. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/red-wine-sangria-recipe-1944675 

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