Holiday Cranberry Apple Sangria is my new go-to holiday cocktail. Use your favorite red wine and combine it with brandy, Cointreau, a combination of cranberry and apple juice, some simple syrup, and fresh fruit. Trust me, your guests will be impressed!
Tis the season for celebrating!
I’m so happy. I LOVE the holidays and EVERYthing it means. Family, friends, parties, gift giving, reminiscing, and the hope of Christ.
We’ve had some tough holiday seasons too, but I’ve always remembered the good with the bad and the sad. Everything is intertwined, and I want to celebrate ALL of it. I’m thankful.
Let’s talk about my Holiday Cranberry Apple Sangria! THE perfect party cocktail for so many reasons.
- The TASTE – aaaall the best flavors coming together (c’mon, there’s RED wine in here!) with a delicious fruit combo and as much/little simple syrup to suit your taste buds.
- The LOOK – nothing says HOLIDAY SEASON like cranberries, and all that red color. Absolutely picture perfect!
- The SIMPLICITY – this cocktail is so simple to make. There is no blending or mulling here.
- The MAKE AHEAD aspect – Yes, it’s best to mix the alcohol and the juices ahead of time. You can also add the fruit, or wait until an hour or so before serving.
Some Tips for making this Holiday Sangria:
- Make the simple syrup up ahead of time so it’s cold when you need it. You just boil equal parts of sugar and water, and store it in the refrigerator. I made extra and then soaked my cranberries in it for several hours.
- To make the sugared cranberries, you just dry them on a paper towel after soaking in simple syrup. Then roll them in sugar and let them dry again. Be sure to store them in the freezer until serving. They look so pretty in the Sangria!
- Start by adding just 1/3 cup of simple syrup, taste, and then add more if you want it sweeter. Proceed drinking with caution, because that Brandy and Cointreau (oh, AND the red wine!) can sneak up on you if you’re not careful. We had a couple of “test runs” last month with this Holiday Cranberry Apple Sangria. UMMMM, good! Really good!! The first go-around, I might have added a bit too much of the simple syrup. Mike and I tend to like less-sugary drinks, so I quickly adapted it the second time.
- A quick note on the fruit. If you like boozy fruit, then soak it all day in the Sangria. If you don’t really care about it, then wait until later to add it because it will become discolored. For the pictures here, I waited to add the fruit so it would pop on the photos.
Tis the season. Cheers, friends! 🙂
Make this cocktail next: Classic Moscow Mules
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Holiday Cranberry Apple Sangria
Holiday Cranberry Apple Sangria is my new go-to holiday cocktail. Use your favorite red wine and combine it with brandy, Cointreau, a combination of cranberry and apple juice, some simple syrup, and fresh fruit.
- 1 750 ml bottle of red wine - I prefer Pinot Noir
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup orange liquor - I prefer Cointreau
- 1/2 cup simple syrup - made from 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup Cran-Apple juice
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 medium honey crisp apple - sliced thin
- 1 medium orange - sliced
- juice of one lemon
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- lots of ice - to serve
- cinnamon sticks (optional) - to serve
Prepare 6-8 hours (or more) in advance by making a simple syrup. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in small sauce pan. Heat to boiling and when sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. Set aside to cool. Place in refrigerator for several hours.
Using a large glass pitcher, combine the wine, brandy, orange liqueur, Cran-Apple juice, and apple juice. Stir, and refrigerate for several hours.
About an hour before serving, remove pitcher and simple syrup from refrigerator. Pour the simple syrup in the pitcher, and stir. Add fruit slices (with lemon juice), and place back in refrigerator for an hour or so.
To serve, pour Sangria over ice, add some orange and apple slices, some fresh cranberries, and enjoy.
- Use any red wine that you like to drink.
- For best results, plan ahead and make sure all ingredients are nice and cold.
- You can add fruit to the Sangria in advance, but I prefer to add it an hour or so before party time, so the fruit doesn't become discolored.
- Instead of adding simple syrup to the pitcher, you could also just add to each glass, depending on how sweet each individual likes their drinks.
- You will most likely need to make multiple batches for large parties!