Do you LOVE festive drinks? I do – they are so fun! And pretty. The perfect addition to any gathering! Bourbon and whiskey are awesome base liquors for festive holiday drinks because they have such complex flavors. But, I have a confession – I don’t actually like bourbon or whiskey – eek. I know… I try so hard to like them! But, I really just want wine all the time! That is why I created this fab Christmas Sangria recipe – because even though some people don’t like whiskey/bourbon, almost everyone likes sangria! Right??
The colors of this Christmas Sangria are stunning – rich reds and greens. I swear this sangria just looks like a holiday party in your glass. Fresh, tart cranberries, juicy apples, bright oranges, spicy cinnamon, herbaceousas rosemary, and rich red wine – I like to use a soft merlot. I actually found a great one at Trader Joe’s (shocker) for only $5.99 per bottle – WAH?!? Crazy, I know right?
Traditional sangria uses brandy, but I personally prefer the taste of triple sec. Either will taste great! Brandy may actually taste a bit more festive with the cinnamon and rosemary, but if you don’t like brandy (like me), don’t use it!
You most likely will not use your entire bottle of sparkling cider, in fact, you don’t have to use it at all! Again, personally, I like a little added sugar and carbonation – a splash of sparkling apple cider is the perfect addition to this festive cocktail!
Would this sangria taste good with white wine? Well sure! Might be a little sweet! And a little less festive looking, but it should still taste quite nice. If you do choose to use a white wine, you could try skipping the oranges as they may over power the other flavors!
What’s the best part about this cocktail? ITS EASY! Seriously, so so easy. The hardest part is honestly slicing those tiny cranberries! A little muddling, a little pouring, a little waiting – voila! Cocktail made.
You can enjoy this cocktail as early as 30 minutes after making, however, the longer you wait for the ingredients to steep, the more cinnamon and rosemary you will taste in the final result.
If you know that you have very little time on your hands, you may consider adding extra cinnamon sticks and/or rosemary to help the flavors steep more quickly! I have not tried this myself so I cannot promise it’ll work – but it should!
Otherwise, I recommend waiting at least two hours before enjoying your festive Christmas Sangria! And of course, be sure to add the sparkling apple cider last as a final touch so that your cocktail remains bubbly and delicious!
Fresh, festive, and delicious - this Christmas Sangria is the perfect addition to your holiday tradition!
- 1-2 oranges sliced
- 1 apple cored and sliced
- 1 cup fresh cranberries half sliced, half whole
- 6 sprigs rosemary
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup triple sec liquer or brandy
- 2 bottles red wine merlot or similar
- 1 bottle sparkling apple cider
- additional rosemary sprigs or cinnamon sticks for garnish
Clean and cut fruit as directed or as desired (slices, wedges, etc.) - add half of fruit and half of rosemary to large pitcher and muddle together express flavors.
Add remaining fresh fruit, cinnamon sticks, and rosemary sprigs in a large pitcher. Add triple sec then red wine to pitcher. Cover in plastic wrap and allow to set in fridge for 30 min - 2 hours.
Serve cold with a splash of sparkling apple cider an additional sprig of rosemary!
Storage: Best enjoyed within 24 hours.