Holiday Sangria

Spice up your sangria with flavors of the season! Apple, cinnamon, cloves and orange will take an ordinary bottle of red to festive heights. This is your drink for easy holiday entertaining!

You know that feeling when you KNOW you have a great idea, but just can’t quite get all the parts all dialed in?

I was aiming for a fall-flavored rosé sangria. I used a from-scratch cranberry syrup, ginger liqueur, fresh apples and oranges to pair with an easy drinking pink wine. Sounds good, right?

Turns out… meh. It was drinkable, even slightly enjoyable, but certainly NOT a recipe that I’d put my stamp on. I set out on a new path.

3 bodega glasses with Holiday Sangria and pitcher on a silver platter with cinnamon sticks and orange sliver garnish

And landed here… Sometimes you gotta fail to succeed… a RED wine was the way to go!

Served over ice with lots of fruit, it’s still light and refreshing, but the red is able to stand up to the robust supporting flavors of cinnamon, cloves, apple cider and apple brandy. Decidedly wintertime!

3 bodega glasses with Holiday Sangria and pitcher on a silver platter with cinnamon sticks and orange sliver garnish

Wanna know the best part?

Quick AND EASY. A splash of this, a chop of that, and you’re there.

All those beautiful flavors will develop more deeply over time, so budget in a few hours for chilling. Mix it up in the morning, or even the night before, pop in the fridge and it’s ready to rock when evening rolls around.

3 bodega glasses with Holiday Sangria and pitcher on a silver platter with cinnamon sticks and orange sliver garnish

This is one drink that can take you all the way through the holiday season. It’s a great sipper to kick off Thanksgiving, a sweet addition to Hanukkah, and welcome at any holiday party, right on up to Christmas day. However and whatever you celebrate, cheers to you and yours. Go ahead and mix up a batch for your friends and family.

Any tips or tricks?

  • Apple brandy is a great addition to your liquor cabinet, especially around this time of year. Check out ZEST, my new cookbook, for a fun fall spin on the classic, Negroni, using Calvados in place of gin.
  • Make sure to use apple cider, not a clear apple juice, as well as fresh orange juice for the best flavor.

 

Make AheadDinner PartyQuick & Easy

Holiday Sangria

Prep Time10 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle light and fruity red wine such as a pinot noir
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ½ cup 100 grams packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 strips orange zest about 2 ½-3 inches long, peeled from a navel orange with a vegetable peeler
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup Calvados or other apple brandy
  • 1 medium apple

Instructions

  • Pour the apple cider into a saucepan and add the brown sugar, cinnamon stick, orange zest and cloves. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until reduced by about ¼, which should take 5 minutes. When it’s finished, it will measure about 1 cup. Remove and cool completely (pouring it to another bowl and resting that in an ice bath helps speed along the process if you need).
  • Stir together the cooled cider, wine, orange juice and apple brandy. Cube the apple and add it to the mixture. If you like, slice the orange that you used for the zest and add that to the sangria as well. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to a day. Serve chilled over ice.

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