Holiday Sangria

‘Tis the Season for toasting!

Holiday SangriaI love a holiday recipe that gets the whole house smelling wonderful.  This is definitely one of those.  A little like mulled wine … but a little sweeter and more refreshing.

Holiday Sangria

Sangria in it’s basic form is sweetened red wine with fruit.  I have an awesome Autumn Sangria recipe, and this one is very similar and just uses seasonally inspired more festive fruits.

One of those is Carambola, otherwise known as starfruit.   It looks sort of like a little melon and when sliced creates little 5 point star shaped pieces.  It tastes like a cross between citrus and melon, but not quite as tart or sweet and it makes an excellent garnish for the holidays.Star Fruit

The other two fruits I used were raw cranberries and tangelos.  I chose tangelos since they’re a little smaller than oranges and easier to add to a glass or pitcher.

In addition to spicing up your holidays, this sangria makes an unique gift for friends, neighbors or party host.  All you need is a sealable jar, similar to the juice jar I have pictured.

Holiday Sangria
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Beverages
Cuisine: Celebrations
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10
A very easy recipe to make and share during holiday parties or to bottle and give as a gift.
  • 2 bottles Merlot
  • 1 bottle ginger ale
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground clove
  • 4 to 6 oranges or tangelos
  • 6 to 10 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ bag of cranberries
  1. In a medium pot, combine Merlot, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Let simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Pour immediately into a sealed pitcher or other container. Chop apples and add them along with the cinnamon sticks to the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Add ice and ginger ale to serve.
  3. For a more carbonated punch or mimosa, add the ginger ale to the wine after it’s cooled … then it will keep the fizz.



About Rachelle Lucas

Rachelle is a writer, spokesperson, and travel videographer. She believes the best way to learn about a destination is through its flavors and collects recipes from her trips to recreate them here on The Travel Bite. She’s currently the Food and Dining Insider for Visit Florida and was recently named by KRED as one of the Top 50 Travel Bloggers in the world.

As much as Rachelle enjoys traveling and tasting new foods, she also loves to run. She’s completed the New York City Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon as well at 5 half marathons.


  1. I was just mentioning to someone that I needed to make my winter sangria! This looks great!

  2. I’ve never thought of a holiday sangria, but it makes perfect sense as it’s already the cousin of Swedish glogg. The star fruit is a very sweet touch ;).

  3. I love the starfruit! Don’t see enough of that here, and never used it in Sangria before. Would be fun to try!

  4. Sipping Sangria in the summer, it never crossed my mind to carry it over into the Holidays. Sounds wonderful and looks festive, too!

  5. This sangria looks tasty! I’ve never heard of a Carambola. I’m going to have to look for them in my markets. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I just wanted to let you know that I made your Holiday Sangria and it was a big hit for Christmas day. I had 30 family members over and they absolutely loved it. I even found some star fruit. My PC crashed and was recently fixed that’s why I’m so late with this message.
    Thanks for a great recipe that I will use again and again.

  7. NoShaveNovember says:

    The link to the autumn sangria isn’t working :(

  8. I love this and want to use it for a party tomorrow, so I hope I get a reply back before then… Can you tell me how how many this serves?

    Thank you! I am so happy I found this I have been searching for a week now on something to serve at a party coming up.

  9. You don’t say what to do with the cranberries?

  10. Kelsey Griffin says:

    In the directions it says to “Chop apples and add them along with the cinnamon sticks to the mixture”. What are the apples for, and how many do you need? Just was a little confused!

    • Hello Kelsey! The apples and cinnamon sticks are just for garnish … though … the apples taste mighty good after soaking in the sangria for awhile. Enjoy! =)

  11. Krista says:

    Is it a 2 liter of Ginger ale? That seems like a lot, so I’m thinking no?

  12. I want to make this for a party tomorrow night, what size bottles do I need for wine and ginger ale?

  13. This was delicious when we added a bit of brandy! Made it way better! Apples are not on the ingredient list. It doesn’t say how much ginger ale. It doesn’t say when to add the cranberries so I waited until the 2nd day. Delicious!!!

  14. Jennifer says:

    This looks like a great recipe. May have to give it a try this upcoming holiday season. Please do tell where you found the pitcher with the lid. I have been looking all over for one like that! Thank you!

  15. I am planning on making this for a Christmas cocktail party with my girlfriends…can you tell me what size bottle of ginger ale? 2 Liter?

  16. ashley says:

    making this tonight !! anxious to taste it!!

  17. If you are heating it, does that cook off the alcohol? I am don’t drink alcohol and always wondered how I could enjoy NA Sangria.

    • Possibly!

      I think if you bring it to a low rumbling boil and let it cook for about 10 to 15 minutes it should burn off the alcohol. I usually just heat it and don’t let it boil.

  18. Marlene says:

    I made this sangria tonight for a holidau get together and it was a huge hit! Wonderful, delicious and a nice holiday flavor with the cinnamon and spices. I will make this again and again!

    • Marlene,

      So glad you enjoyed it! It’s one of my favorites too. My preferred beverage of choice throughout the holidays. Ps … it’s good hot or cold!

  19. Kristina says:

    I want to make some of this for gifts. How long can it be stored?

    • Hi Kristina!

      I’ve stored it for up to a month in the refrigerator when I pre-made some for one of our camping trips. Usually it tastes so good it doesn’t last that long around the house. 😉

      It’s got a lot of sugar in it which is a natural preservative, but sometimes the spices will separate and float to the top. Your best bet is to make it up to two weeks in advance at the most.


  20. I’m at the store now how large a bottles of merlot?

  21. When do you add the oranges..

  22. Brittany says:

    I just made this and will be serving it tomorrow! I was wondering if I should put the ginger ale in right before serving it or now? Thank you!

    • Hello Brittany!

      It depends on how you like it … if you want it to be slightly fizzy, then I’d add the ginger ale right before serving. If you want it to be sweet without the fizz, then add the ginger ale now.

      I usually add the ginger ale in last, but it works both ways.

      Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!

  23. I like the twist! Huge sangria fan over here. Mulled wine…also a treat. Will have to give this version a try!

  24. Love this idea!

    Want to make it for some presents. Does it need to be stored in the fridge or would it be ok hidden in the garage (which is usually quite cold)?


    • Hi Charlie!

      If your garage is super cold, and since it is mostly alcohol and sugar, I think you should be okay. It’s the fruit I would worry about, so I might add that last minute.

      I always keep mine in the fridge, but I live in Florida.

      Also, if it is super cold outside, this sangria tastes pretty excellent warmed up too!

      Happy Holidays!


  25. Margaret says:

    Ok I am not a drinker really at all. I might have a fruity drink while eating dinner out but not too much at home and when I do at home it is wine coolers but I do love sangria. Few questions. After I heat this up could I put it in a kool aid picture or do I need to put it in a container with a seal?
    And does it taste like cloves? I am not big on cloves.

    • Hey Margaret!

      I think a kool aid pitcher would be just fine. If you’d like to, just leave out the cloves. To me, it tastes more like cinnamon. But if you don’t like cloves just omit them.



  26. This looks great and I can’t wait to try it. I’m a little confused by the recipe – does it have apples and oranges in it? I see the ingredients list oranges but the instructions talk about apples. Do I add the star fruit when add the other fruit? Thanks!

    • Hello Erin!

      The fruit is just for garnish, so feel free to mix it up however you’d like! I sometimes do apples and cinnamon sticks. Sometimes apples, oranges slices, and cinnamon. If star fruit is available in your area, it adds a nice festive touch. I’ll also sometimes sprinkle cranberries in there too. The apples, oranges, and star fruit are fun to eat after they’ve soaked up the sangria, but the cinnamon sticks and cranberries are really just for looks. For any of the fruit, add it after you take it off the heat and get ready to add to a pitcher or punch bowl.

      Happy Holidays and enjoy!


  27. Can you use pinot noir instead of merlot?

  28. I substituted persimmons for the starfruit and we loved it! This is the only sangria I will drink.

  29. I will be adding this to my “must-make” list this holiday season! :) Thanks Rachelle

  30. Hi there.

    I am Kris and I liked your blog alot. I ahave been living in Spain for 2 years I also like Sangria. I recommend you try a “white sangria” – instead of red wine, the main ingredient is champagne, or “cava” (in spain) and you also add some orange juice to make it sweet.

    I really recommend “white sangria” :)


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