Mix up a pitcher of cabernet sauvignon sangria in just 15 minutes. This easy party cocktail is full of winter flavors and a bold red wine taste.
Once the cold weather hits, I'm ready to change up the cocktails I'm making. With winter weather, I want a cocktail that has bold, warming flavors and uses the produce that's in season.
This winter sangria recipe checks all my boxes!
It's the perfect pitcher cocktail for holiday parties or to add to your Thanksgiving menu, especially because this drink recipe is easy to make in bulk.
Grab a bottle of your favorite cabernet sauvignon and get to making this cocktail. You'll only need 15 minutes of actual work for a cocktail that everyone will love.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
- The flavor of cabernet sauvignon and some dishes this wine pairs well with.
- How to prepare pitcher sangria ahead of time for a party.
- Tips for achieving the maximum flavor in the cabernet sauvignon sangria.
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Ingredients You Need
Here are the ingredients you'll need for this party sangria recipe:
- Cranberries: When purchasing fresh cranberries, be sure to pick a bag with firm and plump berries. You'll find the most in-season cranberries from September - January.
- Apple: Any variety of apples will work. Personally, I'm a fan of using Honeycrisp apples.
- Oranges: Oranges add such a bright and tart flavor to the winter sangria.
- Cinnamon sticks: The cinnamon flavor pairs perfectly with the winter fruits.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: The base of this sangria is a bottle of cabernet sauvignon. This is a type of wine that's assertive, rich, and full of flavor. Oftentimes, this variety of wine is paired with grilled beef or lamb. If you can't find this variety of wine, you can substitute it for another type of dry red wine.
- Apple cider: This ingredient adds some sweetness to the cocktail. If you enjoy apple cider in cocktails, try these apple cider whiskey slushies.
- Brandy: This is a type of alcohol that's made by distilling wine or the fermented mash of grapes. Brandy complements the flavors of fruit, making it the perfect addition to sangria.
How To Make This Recipe
This winter sangria recipe comes together with very little prep work or active time in the kitchen. Here's how to make it:
1. The first step is cutting the apple and the oranges into thin quartered wedges. Make sure you have a sharp chef's knife for this prep work.
2. Using a muddler, crush the cranberries in the pitcher to release the juice.
3. Add the orange slices, apple slices, and cinnamon sticks to the pitcher.
4. Finally, add in the liquid ingredients including a bottle of cabernet sauvignon along with apple cider and brandy.
Stir everything together until it's well combined, then place some plastic wrap over the pitcher. The sangria will need to chill in the refrigerator for 6 - 8 hours so the flavors can come together.
Once you're ready to serve, fill a wine glass with the chilled sangria and enjoy!
- If you're not a fan of strong cocktails, add some sparkling water or sparkling soda to the sangria. My personal favorite mixer to add is Fresca Sparkling Citrus flavored soda. It gives the drink a little more fizz and less of an intense wine flavor.
- Can't find cabernet sauvignon? You can use another type of dry red wine for this easy winter sangria recipe.
- If you're making this pitcher cocktail for a party, you can make this drink up to three days ahead of time. Just store the sangria covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
- Don't be tempted to make the sangria and drink it right away. Part of the beauty of sangria is that the flavors have married together to create a cohesive, fruit-infused wine flavor.
If you're hosting a party, you should plan for three cocktails per person; however, if you know your guests are heavy drinkers, you'll need to increase this serving size for the party.
While red wine is usually consumed at room temperature, oftentimes sangria is served cold. I'd suggest chilling the pitcher of sangria for 6 - 8 hours before drinking. This not only allows the sangria flavors to marry, but it also chills the drink.
If you're making a large batch of sangria for a party, I'd suggest purchasing some large plastic jars to make the cocktail in bulk. This will allow you to easily store the cocktail in the refrigerator prior to your party. Once you're ready to serve, you can transfer the cocktail to a pitcher.
No! Do not add ice to the pitcher of sangria as it will water down the entire cocktail. Instead, if you wish to drink your sangria with ice, add the ice to each individual serving glass.
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Cabernet Sauvignon Winter Sangria Pitcher
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1 apple cored and sliced into thin quartered wedges
- 2 oranges sliced into thin quartered wedges
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 bottle cabernet sauvignon or dry red wine
- 2 cups apple cider
- ½ cup brandy
- Add cranberries to a large pitcher and muddle together to release the juice. Add apple slices, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cabernet sauvignon, apple cider, and brandy to the pitcher. Stir to combine.
- Cover the pitcher with plastic wrap. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator for 6 - 8 hours to allow the flavors to marry.
- To serve, fill a wine glass with chilled sangria.
We just made this four Thanksgiving dinner and everybody loved it! A great cocktail that was definitely a crowd pleaser!