A red wine winter sangria with brandy, orange liqueur, citrus, apples, pears, and pomegranate arils.
Christmas update, I still have only bought one single gift. Lol help meeee! I do this quite literally every year and am taken aback when it’s suddenly Christmas. I don’t know why I’m like this. But, this entire week has consisted of me working until approximately midnight every day and living solely off of coffee and winter sangria. I haven’t even grocery shopped in two weeks. I ate leftover egg drop soup for both breakfast and lunch today. Maybe Santa will give me the gift of being a functional, organized adult this year. Who knows!
On the other hand, I have been very Christmas-y lately! This past weekend, I got to see The Nutcracker, and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed it so much! My aunt and her best friend made costumes for this year’s ballet, so it was a big deal. My grandma flew into town to surprise my aunt. I picked her up from the airport, we got tattoos, and then we spent the entire day trying to coordinate the surprise. It was almost a disaster, but in the end, it worked out! It was the best.
We also had a big 80th birthday party for my uncle at the oldest restaurant in Reno. It’s a tiny shack with a juke box and writing all over the walls and ceilings. I’m not totally sure it would pass safety inspections in today’s world, which is why it’s so charming. Naturally I made a ton of cake for the celebration, drank at least two picon punches, and ate an entire loaf of garlic bread. A successful party, indeed.
Let’s talk about winter sangria, my holiday cocktail of choice!
I’m also currently preparing for my trip to Vegas to celebrate Christmas with Marc’s family. We’re super stoked, because we’re going to have a big Christmas Eve party. I’m going to make cookie butter cinnamon star bread and sangria! If you were hanging out on my Instagram last year, I did a whole Instagram Live making my favorite holiday sangria. I then proceeded to take photos and not blog about it. Dumb! But I’m being better this year, because everyone should make this winter sangria. It’s truly the perfect holiday cocktail, and here’s why:
One, it’s boozy but everyone loves it! Red wine, liquor, and usually liqueur make up the base of sangria, but it’s plenty sweet. It usually appeals to boozy-drink lovers and sweet drink-lovers alike.
Two, you can make it in huge batches. One pitcher will give you like, eight to ten servings. So, you just make a few pitchers, and it’ll last the whole damn holiday!
Three, boozy fruit is delicious af. My winter sangria has grapefruit, apples, pears, and pomegranates. You can use any winter fruit you’d like, but the booze-infused pears are my favorite part.
Ok, are you convinced yet? Let’s make it!
How to make a very easy winter sangria!
The best part of winter sangria is that it takes like 10 minutes to throw together. And the hardest part is cutting up some fruit. It requires some pretty basic ingredients, and you can even use cheap wine! Afficionados would probably disagree. But tbh, I’m not interested in spending $20 on wine that will be mixed with fruit juice. Not sorry about it!
Anyways, all you do is mix a bottle of red wine with some juice, simple syrup, brandy, and orange liqueur. Then, carefully add some sliced fruit, and let it hang out in the fridge for a little while. I prefer overnight, but all you need is three hours. Serve over ice, and that’s it! You made winter sangria. Go you.
A few tips for making winter sangria
Like I said, don’t get too excited about buying fancy wine. Save your $20+ bottles for drinking. Use a decent, affordable light red wine for winter sangria. I like Pinot Noir, but Grenache (a Spanish wine) is more traditional.
You will need some brandy. For extra flair, you can use apple brandy but I don’t. I already keep regular brandy stocked in my liquor cabinet, and it works perfectly!
I would also recommend adding some orange liqueur like Grand Marnier or Triple Sec. However, if you don’t have any, just replace the liqueur with brandy.
Next, pick a fun variety of winter fruits for your sangria! I like the taste of grapefruit, but you can use any sweet citrus. Tangerines, blood oranges, and Valencia oranges are all good options. Also, I like to add pears, apples, and pomegranate arils. Other good choices are persimmons and cranberries!
You can use either orange juice or apple. Apple is a little sweeter, but I think I prefer it? Idk, orange juice is great too, but pick whichever you like best!
Lastly, make sure to let your winter sangria sit for at least three hours so all the flavors infuse. If you drink it right away, it will taste v strange. I like to let it sit overnight.
And that’s it! Enjoy your 10-minute winter sangria all holiday season. Merry merry Christmas!
WINTER SANGRIA WITH PEARS & POMEGRANATE
Tips: First, you should use a decent but affordable red wine! I like Pinot Noir!
You can use any winter fruit you’d like. Try other citrus, persimmons, or cranberries.
Let the winter sangria sit for at least three hours, preferably overnight. It needs time for the flavors to infuse.
- 1 bottle of light-bodied red wine (I like Pinot Noir)
- 1 cup orange juice or apple juice
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 1/3 cup orange liqueur (Triple Sec or Grand Marnier)
- 1/4 cup simple syrup
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced (or diced)
- 1 green pear, cored and thinly sliced (or diced)
- 1/2 grapefruit, de-seeded and thinly sliced (or another sweet citrus)
- 1/3 cup pomegranate arils (or cranberries)
- Rosemary, to serve
- In a pitcher, combine the red wine, orange or apple juice, brandy, orange liqueur, and simple syrup. Give it a good stir. Carefully add the cinnamon sticks and fruit. Gently stir, cover, and let it sit in the fridge for at least three hours, preferably overnight.
- Serve the winter sangria over ice. Gently roll a small sprig of rosemary in-between your hands to release the oils. Garnish the sangria with the rosemary. Enjoy!
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Christmas Memories by She & Him