A tasty blend of fruit and booze, sangria is a refreshing, customizable beverage. However, when traditionally made in its original Spanish style, the number of calories in sangria — as well as the carbohydrates and sugar — can be a problem for someone trying to choose a healthy drink.
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Each 8-ounce serving of sangria, both the red and white varieties, has around 215 calories. There are 16 grams of sugar and 19 grams of carbs in sangria.
Calories and Carbs in Sangria
Traditional sangria blends chopped fruit; red, white or rose wine; liquor such as brandy; fruit juice; sugar; and a mixer such as soda or lemonade, according to Missouri Wines. The drink is highly customizable, so the calories in sangria might vary wildly, depending on the brand or the preferences of the person making it.
However, the USDA notes that 8 ounces of red sangria, made with red wine, liqueur or cordial, club soda, sugar and lemon juice, contains 219 calories and 16.3 of sugar. There are also 19 grams of carbs in red sangria. The nutrition details for white or rose sangria, made with wine, liqueur or cordial, club soda, sugar and lemon juice, are very similar: 214 calories, 16.7 grams of sugar and 19 grams of carbs.
Read more: 5 Hidden Health Benefits of Alcohol
Cutting Back Calories and Carbs
Because sangria can vary so much, there are a few easy measures you can take to cut back on the grams of carbs in sangria and the number of calories in the drink.
- Play with the proportions of wine, soda, fruit juice and cordial — upping the club soda and decreasing the wine or juice — to find a blend that tastes good to you.
- Instead of making sangria with high-sugar fruit juice, use only pure lemon or lime juice — or, if you like the sangria a little less fruity, eliminate the fruit juice entirely.
- For a bit of bubbly, pour in club soda, which the Mayo Clinic refers to as a no-calorie mixer, instead of a sugary mixer such as ginger ale or lemon-lime soda.
- Taste the sangria before you add any extra sweetener to ensure that you actually need it.
Even with modifications, sangria might be higher in calories and carbohydrates than other beverages. For example, 8 ounces of red wine contains 200 calories, according to the USDA. However, it's important to note that one serving of red wine is actually 5 ounces, which has just 125 calories. Similarly, 5 ounces of white wine has 121 calories per 5-ounce serving and 193 calories for 8 ounces. If you stick to this serving size, you'll reduce your calorie intake.
To make a sangria-like beverage, a wine spritzer, like this one suggested by the Temecula Valley Wine Growers Association, start with one bottle of wine and add 3 cups of sparkling water. Then load up the glass with citrus fruit that's been zested.
Add the zest to ice cubes, which you can add to the spritzer for extra flavor. You'll also save yourself a number of grams of carbohydrates and sugars with this beverage — there is less than 1 gram of sugar and just 3.84 grams of carbs in red wine, while white wine has 1.41 grams of sugar and 3.82 grams of carbs.
Read more: 14 Wine Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask
- Missouri Wines: "Signature Sangria – 3 Ways: Red, White & Rosé"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Alcoholic Beverage, Wine, Table, Red"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Alcoholic Beverage, Wine, Table, White"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Sangria, Red"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Sangria, White"
- Temecula Valley Wine Growers Association: "Wine Country Recipe ~ Citrus White Wine Spritzer"
- Mayo Clinic: "Alcohol During the Holidays: 4 Ways to Sip Smarter"