‘Tis the Season for toasting! I love a holiday recipe that gets the whole house smelling wonderful, and this holiday sangria is definitely one of those. It’s a little like mulled wine, but a little sweeter and more refreshing. You can serve it iced or hot, and it also makes a thoughtful gift.
I’ve been making it for 10 years now (as evidenced by my old photos here … LOL) and it is always a party favorite. I’ll have to snap a few new photos when I make my next batch.
Sangria in its 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 fruit that’s a bit more festive.
Festive Fruit Garnish For Sangria
One of the more festive fruits I love to use for my holiday sangria is carambola, otherwise known as starfruit. It looks sort of like a little melon and when sliced creates five point star shaped pieces. Carambola tastes like a cross between citrus and melon and makes an excellent garnish for the holidays.
Other Garnish Options
The other two fruits I use are raw cranberries and tangelos. Tangelos are a little smaller than oranges and easier to add to a glass or pitcher, especially if you’re bottling it for gifting! You can also use cinnamon sticks and apples as garnish for your holiday sangria.
In addition to spicing up your holiday party, this sangria also makes an unique gift too! Whether for friends, neighbors or a party host gift. All you need is a sealable jar, such as a juice pitcher or mason jar, and a pretty bow.
Enjoy and happy holidays!
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
- 1/2 bag of cranberries
- In a medium pot, combine Merlot, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Let simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour immediately into a sealed pitcher or other container. Stir in ginger ale. Chop apples and add them along with the orange slices, cranberries, and cinnamon sticks to the mixture. Cover and refrigerate to cool.
- For a more carbonated punch, add the ginger ale to the wine after it’s cooled … then it will keep the fizz.
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Noelle (An Opera Singer in the Kitchen) says
I was just mentioning to someone that I needed to make my winter sangria! This looks great!
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 ;).
I love the starfruit! Don’t see enough of that here, and never used it in Sangria before. Would be fun to try!
Peppercorn Press says
Sipping Sangria in the summer, it never crossed my mind to carry it over into the Holidays. Sounds wonderful and looks festive, too!
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!
Thanks! Definitely take a look for carambola. It’s also sometimes called star fruit.
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.
The link to the autumn sangria isn’t working 🙁
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.
You don’t say what to do with the cranberries?
The cranberries are just for garnish. =)
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! =)
In the recipe there is no ingredient for apples?? and u let me know how many to put in?
Rachelle Lucas says
I use apples as garnish. So, after making the sangria I add sliced apples as garnish with the drink. You can also add starfruit or cranberries, anything to make it festive. What I like about the apples is that they absorb some of the wine and spices and are delicious to eat when you’ve emptied your glass. 😉
Is it a 2 liter of Ginger ale? That seems like a lot, so I’m thinking no?
I want to make this for a party tomorrow night, what size bottles do I need for wine and ginger ale?
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!!!
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!
I actually found it at my local grocery store, which is Publix down in Florida. I’ve also seen them at Ikea. Enjoy!
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?
Yes! A two liter bottle is what I use. You can add more or less ginger ale depending on what you like. 🙂
THANK YOU for your quick response!!! Can’t wait to try this!
making this tonight !! anxious to taste it!!
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.
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.
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!
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!
I want to make some of this for gifts. How long can it be stored?
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.
I’m at the store now how large a bottles of merlot?
Just a regular sized wine bottle will do. 🙂
When do you add the oranges..
They’re just as garnish in the end. 🙂
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!
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!
Anita Mac says
I like the twist! Huge sangria fan over here. Mulled wine…also a treat. Will have to give this version a try!
Charlie Mackie says
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)?
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
Can you use pinot noir instead of merlot?
Yes! A pinot noir will taste great too. 🙂
I substituted persimmons for the starfruit and we loved it! This is the only sangria I will drink.
Lauren Bassart says
I will be adding this to my “must-make” list this holiday season! 🙂 Thanks Rachelle
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” 🙂
Rachelle Lucas says
I’ll definitely give it a try! Cava with fruit? I’m in! 😉
Sarah wood says
Is it possible to modify this recipe so you don’t have to boil it the day before?
Rachelle Lucas says
You could do it the day of a party (or when you want to drink it) and can also serve it warm. It makes the house smell lovely. 🙂
Ravin kumar says
This Holiday Sangria sounds absolutely wonderful and it is great for festive and non-festive occasions a like. Thanks for sharing nice information.
Jyoti basu says
This Holiday Sangria sounds absolutely amazing. They are really so awesome. Thanks for sharing us.