This recipe originally appeared on my other site Simply Whisked.
What do you drink on Christmas?
I love a good sangria. It’s the perfect party cocktail because you can make it ahead of time. Red wine is my favorite, but adding fruit and a little sweetness always makes for a crowd-pleasing drink. Especially when you don’t want to be mixing cocktails all night long. That makes anything in a pitcher the perfect choice.
What alcohol is in sangria?
I based this recipe off of my simple red sangria, but it’s really inspired by my love for vin chaud – hot mulled wine that is served in French Christmas markets and was a favorite of mine when we lived there. Since this holiday sangria is best served cold, I made a homemade cinnamon spiced simple syrup to spice things up. I also used a bit of brandy because I think it goes best with those spicy flavors.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
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How to make Christmas sangria
Make the simple syrup. I recommend making the spiced simple syrup for this holiday sangria in advance. Like, 24 hours or more in advance. Not only does this make your life easier the day you want to make the sangria, it also give the syrup a little more time to steep and develop more flavor. I normally make mine about 3 days ahead of time.
It’s just equal parts sugar and water (1 cup each), heated on the stove until it’s perfectly clear. Then you toss in some cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Bonus points if you throw in a star anise while you’re making it. If it’s not an ingredient you have on hand, don’t worry about it.
Prepare your pitcher. Chop all of your fruit and mix your sangria the morning you’re going to serve it. This way, the fruit gets to hang around in the wine and sweeten it. Any sooner, and you’ll likely end up with unappealing fruit. For my Christmas sangria, I like to use frozen cranberries. I usually have some leftover from Thanksgiving, so it’s perfect for Christmas.
Add some sparkles. Top it off with 2 cans (about 3 cups) of sparkling seltzer water. You can use club soda, but I just prefer the flavor of seltzer. Wait to do this until right before you’re going to serve your sangria, and only add it straight to the pitcher if you plan on drinking the whole thing. Otherwise fill your glasses 2/3 – 3/4 of the way full of sangria and top with seltzer instead.
Everything you need to know about Christmas sangria
For sangria, opt for a fruity and medium-bodied red wine or a versatile red blend. Of course, make your choice based on personal preferences, but consider the mix of fruits, sweeteners, and spirits used in the sangria when choosing your wine.
As a general estimate, homemade sangria will have an alcohol content that is similar to whatever wine you choose to use. You will add some spirits but then you will also dilute the wine and spirits with fruit juices and club soda. It’s important to remember that the actual alcohol content and the strength of sangria can vary from batch to batch.
For this Christmas sangria we have chosen hearty fruits that can withstand soaking overnight. Once the fruit has been added it is important to keep the sangria chilled to ensure everything stays fresh for serving, but skip the bubbles until you are ready to serve.
More sangria recipes you’ll love
More brandy recipes you should try
Go ahead. Have another drink!
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- 1 bottle red wine
- 1/2 cup spiced simple syrup (see notes)
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 chopped apple
- 1 sliced orange
- 1 cup cranberries
- 2 12-ounce cans sparkling seltzer water or club soda
- Fresh rosemary, garnish (optional)
- In a large pitcher, combine wine, orange juice, simple syrup and brandy. Stir to combine.
- Add fruit and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Add seltzer water to pitcher before serving (or top each glass individually) over ice. Garnish with fresh rosemary.
To make spiced simple syrup: combine sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and transfer to a mason jar. Add 2 cinnamon sticks and 2 whole cloves. Refrigerate for for 24 hours to allow flavor to develop. Remove cinnamon and cloves before using.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Sangria
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 207
- Sugar: 26.7 g
- Sodium: 19.5 mg
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 32.9 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 0.4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: christmas sangria, christmas holiday sangria, christmas sangria recipe, recipe christmas sangria, sangria christmas recipe, red sangria, recipe sangria red wine, holiday sangria, xmas sangria
Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Melissa Belanger
This post contains affiliate links. I may earn commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. I will never recommend a product I don’t use or trust.