Festive Holiday Sangria

published Nov 2, 2021
Christmas / Holiday Sangria Recipe

A sweet glass of holiday sangria can make any Christmas gathering extra merry and bright.

Serves6 to 8

Prep10 minutes

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Holiday sangria garnished with a pine sprig, pear slices, cranberries and oranges in a wine glass
Credit: Olivia Mack McCool

Sangria is the perfect way to level-up your refreshment game at any gathering. It’s not only more festive than plopping down a bottle of, say, merlot, but it also stretches the amount of servings you can get out of it. Originating from Spain and Portugal, it dates back to the 1100s and is essentially wine that’s mixed with fruit, spices, and juice. There are infinite combinations and possibilities for flavoring your sangria — there’s no one right way to make it. 

Holiday Sangria Versus Regular Sangria

Sangria lends itself really well to holiday flavors. A typical sangria has fruits like apples and oranges in it. This version amps up the holiday spirit a little with cinnamon sticks, apple cider, pomegranate juice, and garnishes like fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs. While the cranberries and rosemary don’t soak in the sangria, using them as a garnish immediately signals holiday cheer to the person you’re serving this to. Sangria is often topped off with some sparkling water to add fizz. In this holiday edition, you’ll use ginger beer or ginger ale for more of that seasonal flavor. 

How Long to Soak Your Fruits for

The beauty of making sangria for entertaining is that it can, and must be, made ahead of time. The fruit needs time to soak up and flavor the drink. You should let your sangria chill in the refrigerator for at least eight hours and up to 24 hours ahead of serving. The soaked fruit can be poured right in the glass with the sangria. Feel free to add fresh fruit along with the rosemary, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds to garnish for an even more festive look to your drink. 

Credit: Olivia Mack McCool

Using Red Wine Versus White Wine

Although red wine is the most traditional, sangria can also be made with white wine. White wine sangria is more common in the summertime using fruits from that season. If you strongly prefer white over red, you can make this recipe with a dry white wine. 

Christmas / Holiday Sangria Recipe

A sweet glass of holiday sangria can make any Christmas gathering extra merry and bright.

Prep time 10 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle

    full-bodied dry red wine

  • 1 cup

    apple cider or unfiltered apple juice

  • 1/2 cup

    pomegranate juice

  • 1/2 cup


  • 2

    medium oranges

  • 2

    medium pears or apples, any kind

  • 4

    cinnamon sticks

  • Ice

  • 2 (12-ounce) cans

    chilled ginger beer or ginger ale

  • Ice

  • Garnish options: fresh rosemary sprigs, cranberries, pomegranate arils


  1. Pour 1 bottle dry red wine, 1 cup apple cider, 1/2 cup pomegranate juice, and 1/2 cup brandy into a 2-quarte or larger pitcher.

  2. Prepare the following and add to the pitcher: Halve 2 medium oranges, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons. Core and thinly slice 2 medium apples or pears.

  3. Add 4 cinnamon sticks and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

  4. To serve, add ice to each wine glass and fill 3/4 of the way with sangria; top off with ginger beer or ginger ale. Garnish with a rosemary sprig, a few fresh cranberries, and a few pomegranate seeds.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Sangria can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.