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Substitute for Brandy in Sangria: 9 Best Alternatives (2024)

Substitute for Brandy in Sangria 

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 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 Substitute for Brandy 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you make a Sangria taste good without brandy?

Absolutely! Sangria can taste delicious and refreshing even without brandy. While brandy adds depth and richness to traditional Sangria, there are plenty of alternative ingredients that can be used to create a flavorful and enjoyable beverage.

Experimenting with different spirits, liqueurs, or fruit juices can help enhance the taste and complexity of Sangria, making it just as satisfying without brandy.

What does Sangria taste like without brandy?

Sangria without brandy may have a slightly different flavor profile compared to traditional Sangria, but it can still be delicious and enjoyable. Without the richness of brandy, Sangria may taste lighter and fruitier, with the flavors of the wine and fruit taking center stage.

The absence of brandy may result in a Sangria that is sweeter or more tart, depending on the fruits and sweeteners used. Overall, Sangria without brandy can still offer a refreshing and delightful drinking experience, perfect for any occasion.

Can Sangria, even without brandy, make you drunk?

Yes, Sangria can still make you drunk even without brandy, as it typically contains wine, which is alcoholic. While brandy adds extra alcohol content to Sangria, the primary alcoholic component is usually the wine itself.

Depending on the amount of wine used and any additional spirits or liqueurs, Sangria can vary in alcohol content. It’s essential to drink Sangria responsibly and be mindful of your alcohol intake to avoid overconsumption and its associated risks, regardless of whether brandy is included in the recipe.

What can I use instead of brandy in Sangria?

There are several alternatives you can use instead of brandy in Sangria to add depth and flavor to the beverage:

Rum: Dark or spiced rum can be a great substitute for brandy in Sangria. It adds a rich and slightly sweet flavor that complements the fruity and citrusy notes of the Sangria.

Grand Marnier or Triple Sec: These orange-flavored liqueurs can add a bright and citrusy flavor to Sangria, enhancing its overall taste without overpowering the other ingredients.

Fruit Liqueurs: Liqueurs such as peach schnapps, raspberry liqueur, or cherry brandy can add unique fruit flavors to Sangria, making it more vibrant and flavorful.

Flavored Syrups: Infused syrups such as ginger syrup, honey syrup, or elderflower syrup can add sweetness and complexity to Sangria, enhancing its overall taste profile.

Experimenting with different substitutes for brandy in Sangria can help you create a unique and delicious beverage that suits your taste preferences and the occasion. Remember to adjust the quantities of other ingredients accordingly to maintain a well-balanced flavor.

Can I use non-alcoholic substitutes in Sangria?

Yes, you can use non-alcoholic substitutes in Sangria to create alcohol-free versions of the beverage. Non-alcoholic alternatives such as fruit juices, flavored syrups, or sparkling water can replace alcoholic spirits or liqueurs while still providing flavor and depth to Sangria.

For example, substituting rum with non-alcoholic apple cider can add sweetness and fruitiness to Sangria without adding alcohol content. Similarly, using flavored syrups or fruit juices can contribute complexity and aroma to Sangria without the need for alcoholic ingredients.

Should I adjust the amount of substitute used in Sangria?

Yes, it’s advisable to adjust the amount of substitute used in Sangria based on your taste preferences and the flavor profile of the beverage. Since different substitutes have varying intensities and flavors, you may need to experiment with the quantities to achieve the desired balance.

Start by adding small amounts of the substitute and tasting the Sangria as you go, adjusting the ingredients as needed until you achieve the desired flavor. Keep in mind that some substitutes, such as flavored syrups or fruit juices, may be sweeter than others, so you may need to reduce the amount of additional sweeteners accordingly.

Additionally, consider the overall volume of Sangria you’re preparing and adjust the quantities of other ingredients proportionally to maintain a well-balanced beverage.

How does the choice of substitute affect the flavor of sangria?

The choice of substitute can significantly impact the flavor profile of Sangria, as each alternative ingredient brings its own unique characteristics to the beverage. Here’s how different substitutes can affect the flavor:

Rum: Using rum as a substitute for brandy can add a rich and slightly sweet flavor to Sangria. Dark rum may impart notes of caramel, molasses, and spice, while spiced rum can add additional depth with flavors of vanilla, cinnamon, and clove. The rum’s distinct profile complements the fruity and citrusy elements of Sangria, creating a flavorful and well-rounded beverage.

Liqueurs: Substituting brandy with liqueurs such as Grand Marnier or Triple Sec can introduce bright and citrusy notes to Sangria. These orange-flavored liqueurs add a zesty and aromatic touch, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the beverage. Additionally, fruit liqueurs like peach schnapps or raspberry liqueur can contribute unique fruit flavors, adding depth and complexity to Sangria.

Flavored Syrups: Infused syrups like ginger syrup, honey syrup, or elderflower syrup can provide sweetness and complexity to Sangria without adding additional alcohol content. These syrups infuse the beverage with distinctive flavors, such as ginger’s spicy warmth, honey’s floral sweetness, or elderflower’s delicate floral notes, resulting in a more nuanced and aromatic Sangria.

Each substitute offers its own flavor profile, which can complement the existing ingredients in Sangria or introduce new dimensions to the beverage. Experimenting with different substitutes allows for creativity and customization, enabling you to tailor Sangria to your taste preferences and the occasion.

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. 


  1. Gin Liquor
  2. Red Wine Sangria
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