The perfect Christmas sangria recipe! It combines red wine, whiskey, and cranberry with warm spices like cinnamon to create a cozy cocktail.
My favorite holiday activity is to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and a cheesy Christmas movie. It’s a great way to decompress and relax. That activity got even better after I started making Christmas sangria!
Christmas sangria is a delicious blend of red wine, tangy cranberries, and cinnamon. It’s almost like a chilled version of mulled wine. It’s the perfect cocktail for the holidays.
For more holiday cocktails, check out my recipes for Christmas margaritas and pumpkin sangria!
What is Christmas Sangria?
Christmas sangria is a red wine sangria that combines traditional holiday flavors, like cranberry and cinnamon, together in a cocktail. This sangria tastes like Christmas in a glass, hence the name.
Traditionally, sangria is a cocktail made with wine and fruit. Other liquors, juices, or spices may be added to enhance or change the flavor. This sangria balances the bold flavors of Merlot and cranberry juice with a mellow whiskey, citrus, and cinnamon simple syrup.
- Red apple
- Orange slices
- Frozen cranberries
- Cranberry juice
- Whiskey (or bourbon)
- Cinnamon simple syrup
- Cinnamon sticks
How to Make Christmas Sangria
The fruit base for Christmas sangria is apples, oranges, and cranberries. Chop one large red apple and add it to a large pitcher. Then add an entire orange cut into slices. Next, add 2 cups of frozen cranberries.
Next, add 2.5 cups of red wine. Then 2 cups of cranberry juice cocktail. Be sure to add a cranberry juice cocktail and not pure cranberry juice. Pure cranberry juice is more tart and bitter than juice cocktails.
Next, add 3 oz of whiskey or bourbon. We almost always have Jack Daniels on hand, so that’s what I used.
Finally, add 2 oz of cinnamon simple syrup. And two whole cinnamon sticks.
Serve Christmas sangria in a wine or cocktail glass over ice. Add a cinnamon stick, an orange slice, and frozen cranberries as garnish.
For a different spin on Christmas sangria, try this recipe with pomegranate and cranberry juice from Weekend Craft!
Homemade Cinnamon Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is one of the best ingredients for adding sweetness to a sangria. Cinnamon simple syrup adds sweetness and a bold, spicy flavor to Christmas sangria.
- Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a small saucepan.
- Heat the saucepan on medium-low heat. It does not need to boil!
- Continuously stir the water-sugar mixture until all of the sugar dissolves.
- Pour into a glass jar.
- Add 2 whole cinnamon sticks.
- Allow the syrup to cool in the refrigerator. The cinnamon needs at least 24 hours to infuse the simple syrup with the cinnamon flavor. The longer it soaks, the more flavor it leaves behind. This cinnamon simple syrup should last up to 6 months in the refrigerator!
What Red Wine is Best in Christmas Sangria?
Merlot is the best wine to use for this sangria. It is a dry red wine but tastes a bit sweeter than a Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot is full-bodied, which means it tastes heavier on the tongue. Its flavor profile is comprised of berries, herbs, and cocoa. These flavors make it the perfect match for a cranberry cocktail with cinnamon. The whiskey enhances the warm earthy flavors of the wine as well.
How Long Does This Sangria Last In the Fridge
Sangria typically lasts up to five days open in the refrigerator. Longer if stored in an airtight container. And the longer a sangria sits, the bolder the flavors become. This makes it the perfect make-ahead holiday cocktail!
Either make a pitcher and store it for a holiday gathering. Or store it in the fridge and have a glass throughout the week. I love having it available whenever I watch a Hallmark Christmas movie!
What to Serve With Christmas Sangria
Serve this delicious holiday sangria with various dips or dishes for a holiday party or Christmas movie night!
- 1 glass pitcher
- 1 red apple chopped
- 1 orange sliced
- 2 cups frozen cranberries
- 2.5 cups Merlot
- 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
- 3 oz Bourbon
- 2 oz cinnamon simple syrup
- cinnamon sticks
- Chop one large red apple and add it to a large pitcher.
- Add an entire orange cut into slices.
- Add 2 cups of frozen cranberries.
- Add 2.5 cups of Merlot.
- Add 2 cups of cranberry juice cocktail.
- Add 3 oz of whiskey or bourbon.
- Add 2 oz of cinnamon simple syrup and two whole cinnamon sticks.
- Stir to combine.
- Serve in a wine or cocktail glass over ice. Add a cinnamon stick, an orange slice, and frozen cranberries as garnish.