This Red Sangria is the perfect Christmas Sangria for planned holiday celebrations, although it’s just as rewarding as any other time of the year! This stunningly bright red wine sangria is loaded with sliced oranges, whole cranberries, cinnamon sticks, sliced apples, whole cloves, Garnacha, Grand Marnier, brandy, simple syrup, and club soda. Simply add the ingredients to a glass pitcher, refrigerate, and serve with club soda and ice!
The brandy and liqueur in this sangria add an extra kick of boozy deliciousness while the dry red wine is balanced by the sweet Simple Syrup and fruit slices, while the cinnamon sticks and cloves provide a touch of warm spice.
This red Christmas sangria Recipe lives up to all sangria expectations and is even better the day after it’s been made and chilled! If you love sangria, be sure to also try Strawberry Sangria, Summer Peach Sangria, and Cranberry Sangria.
Why You’ll Love Christmas Sangria
- Making this vibrant and tasty sangria is incredibly easy – just add the ingredients to the pitcher, refrigerate, and serve with club soda and ice.
- Christmas sangria is the perfect boozy drink that adds festive color and decoration to any holiday table.
- Easily adapt this holiday sangria by using your favorite red wine, adjusting the sweetness, and increasing or decreasing the alcohol level for a stronger or weaker drink.
- Use this holiday sangria as your base and blend it up to make a frozen wine slushie!
What Ingredients do I Need for Christmas Sangria?
- Red wine – Use one standard bottle of your favorite red wine. Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, or Garnacha are great options.
- Fruit – I’ve used 1 orange (sliced), 2 cups of whole cranberries, and 1 apple (sliced). Pomegranate seeds can also be added to sangria.
- Spices – Cinnamon sticks and several whole cloves add a lovely warmth to this Christmas sangria.
- Grand Marnier
- Brandy – If you want to keep this sangria as authentic as possible, opt for Spanish brandy.
- Simple syrup – This can be adjusted for the level of sweetness desired.
- Club soda – Seltzer can be used instead of club soda, although it does have a plainer taste. Ginger ale is another great option.
PRO TIP: If you need to make this sangria ahead of time or foresee any leftovers, be sure to only use hardy fruits, not soft fruit, so that the fruit doesn’t deteriorate while in storage.
How to Make Christmas Sangria
PREP: Prepare the fresh fruit and then add the sliced orange, sliced apple, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to a glass pitcher. Pour the red wine into the pitcher, followed by Grand Marnier, brandy, and simple syrup.
CHILL AND SERVE: Stir the ingredients in the large pitcher and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (preferably 2 hours). Serve this Christmas sangria in serving glasses with club soda and ice.
- The fruits I’ve used in this sangria recipe hold up quite well for extended periods of refrigeration and mixing. This is true for citrus fruits and stone fruits. If you change the types of fruits used to softer fruits like berries then you may want to avoid the sangria from sitting for longer than overnight as the fruit may become mushy.
- Most sangria recipes will last for up to 5 days when stored in a sealed or covered jug in the refrigerator although the longer it sits, the greater the chance of your sangria losing its freshness and turning slightly sour from the wine.
- If you do intend to store leftover sangria for a couple of days then I suggest removing any fruit that may look like it’s starting to get soft and mushy.
- Using a clear glass pitcher or clear plastic jug is a must for showcasing your red sangria with all of the colorful fruits and added garnish!
The history of the first Sangria is quite interesting and probably very different from what you’d expect. When the Romans conquered various regions and started their reign in Spain in 206 BC, they planted vineyards along their routes. The Liberian Peninsula was no exception. And since most drinking water during that time was considered unsafe for consumption, they would add alcohol to it as a means of killing off any bacteria.
Apart from cleansing water, the first sangrias are said to have also been created to water down the horrible table wine available during that time. The recipes were most likely a mix of water, table wine, spices, and herbs although absolute certainty about the exact sangria recipe emerging from that time is still somewhat unknown.
It’s been widely accepted by historians that sangria was first introduced to the Americas at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and has since evolved with numerous recipe variations.
- While I’ve opted to use a dry red wine when making this Christmas sangria, there’s also nothing preventing you from using sweet red wines. Just remember that using a sweet red wine will increase the overall sweetness of the sangria so you may need to reduce the amount of simple syrup added.
- Add in more alcohol or reduce the amount for a weaker drink. You could also easily increase the quantity of club soda or add in some cranberry juice to dilute the kick of alcohol as an alternative to adjusting the alcohol quantities.
- Softer fruit can be used in this sangria recipe but then I suggest that you don’t store the sangria overnight as the fruit can become mushy.
- Other add-ins could include rosemary sprigs, fresh rosemary, or lime.
- Pomegranate juice can be added to this sangria for extra depth of color and flavor, especially if you want to dilute the alcohol.
Serve your sangria over ice with pieces of fruit or additional cranberries, orange slices, and/or cinnamon sticks as extra garnish.
Sorry to break it to you, but sangrias are best after sitting in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, allowing the fruits and alcohol to blend and infuse. I’ve listed a minimum of 30 minutes in the refrigerator, but it should ideally sit for 2-4 hours or even overnight!
It’s well worth planning a bit ahead of time than rushing and cutting corners on the chill time – you’ll thank me later!
- 750 ml red wine – Zinfandel Pinot Noir,
- Garnacha one standard bottle
- 1 orange sliced
- 2 cups cranberries
- 1 apple sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 Whole cloves optional
- ½ cup Grand Marnier
- ¼ cup brandy
- ½ cup simple syrup
- 8 oz. club soda
- Add sliced fruit, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to a pitcher or punch bowl.
- Pour wine into the pitcher.
- Add Grand Marnier, brandy, and simple syrup and stir to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate sangria for at least 30 minutes, but ideally 2+ hours.
- Add club soda and ice just before serving.