The first time I tasted sangria, it was a warm summer evening on a rooftop in Madrid; which seemed fitting as the beverage originated in Spain (though earliest versions of the drink date back to Roman times). Maybe it was the tapas. Or maybe it was the company. Whatever it was, the fruity, flavorful wine beverage left a warm spot in my heart.
Fast-forward to that Christmas, where I was served mulled wine—which is practically the warm version of sangria. It was tasty and all, but it just didn’t feel quite right sipping something so soul-warming in the thick, humid Florida winter. The drink had me thinking about my summer in Madrid and the refreshing yet festive sangria. What was stopping us from embracing sangria as a winter beverage? It’s wonderfully versatile—it's essentially wine soaked in a variety of colorful fruits, maybe some brandy, maybe some club soda—and perfect for any holiday table setting or get together.
Whether your holiday party schedule looks more like traditional family dinners or heavy hors-d'oeuvres with your friends, there’s a sangria for your event. We’ve scoured the internet and found 12 great holiday sangria recipes you will want to throw in your drink rotation. Though traditionally made with red wine, modern-day sangria can also be made with white wine, and rosé.
From a sparkling moscato sangria, to a red apple cider variety, and even one that comes with a 'snowy' coconut flaked rim, read on for these 12 holiday sangria recipes that will make you feel like you are lounging on a Spanish rooftop.
The Recipe: Moscato Sangria
Why We Love It: In this sparkling wine cocktail from Boulder Locavore, fresh fruit (raspberries, star fruit, grapes, oranges) combine with sweet Moscato, brandy and sparkling water. With a pitcher that serves six people, this recipe is a perfect addition to your party lineup.
Pro Tip: "If storing this Moscato Sangria after the initial infusing, remove the lime to avoid the sangria becoming too acidic or tart," writes Toni, of Boulder Locavore.
Winter Citrus White Sangria
The Recipe: Winter Citrus White Sangria
Why We Love It: This winter citrus white sangria recipe from Boulder Locavore takes from the best winter has to offer. Clementines, Cara Cara oranges, kumquats, and a navel orange come together with a white Rioja or pinot grigio.
Pro Tip: For some extra fizz, the blog recommends adding San Pellegrino’s Aranciata sparkling orange beverage.
Ultimate Winter Sangria
The Recipe: Ultimate Winter Sangria
Why We Love It: For the Joyful Healthy Eats take on sangria, begin with your favorite red wine. Add pomegranate seeds, citrus, and crisp green pears before garnishing with cinnamon sticks. For a little extra effervescence, finish it off with ginger ale.
Pro Tip: Top with fresh lime and orange slices for garnish.
The Recipe: Holiday Sangria
Why We Love It: This holiday sangria recipe from The Modern Proper incorporates all of your favorite holiday tastes while keeping the drink light—perfect for those heavier meals. So go ahead and mix together red wine, sparkling apple cider, cranberries, apples, and oranges. Let it sit for a day or two, then add rosemary for garnish.
Pro Tip: Feel free to omit the star anise, and sub in sparkling water for sparkling apple cider to make it less sweet.
Ruby Red Cherry Sangria
The Recipe: Ruby Red Cherry Sangria
Why We Love It: For Salt & Wind's take on sangria, it really boils down to two ingredients: Fresh cherries and dry rosé wine. Though, you'll also need Chambord liqueur, non-sweetened cherry juice, orange juice, fruit slices, and club soda. The result? A subtle, sweet, not-too-potent sangria perfectly colored for your holiday spread.
Pro Tip: This recipe serves 8–12.
Red Apple Cider Sangria
The Recipe: Red Apple Cider Sangria
Why We Love It: If you’re looking for another way to sneak apple cider in a cocktail, this red apple cider sangria from How Sweet Eats is it. Instead of brandy, this drink opts for Grand Marnier to add an extra hint of orange. Sweeten with maple syrup and top with cinnamon sticks!
Pro Tip: The recipe calls for 30 minutes of fridge time to fuse the ingredients together before serving, though feel free to let it sit longer.
The Recipe: Pomegranate Sangria
Why We Love It: Hello Glow's overnight infused pomegranate sangria is less sweet than typical sangria. Start with a red wine you’d actually drink by itself, add star anise, Grand Marnier, pomegranate juice, oranges, pomegranate seeds, and apples—and wait. Your patience will be worth it.
Pro Tip: For a sweeter sangria, replace sparkling water with tonic water, which you'll add just before serving.
The Recipe: Christmas Sangria
Why We Love It: This sangria from Half Baked Harvest takes all of the flavors of Christmas and adds a bottle of wine. Start with a white wine base, add apples, oranges, and pears, and top with ginger beer.
Pro Tip: "It’s definitely on the sweeter side due to the apple cider and ginger, so you have to be into a sweet drink," writes Tieghan Gerard, of Half Baked Harvest. For some extra sweetness—rim your glass with cinnamon sugar.
White Christmas Sangria
The Recipe: White Christmas Sangria
Why We Love It: The Chunky Chef's holiday sangria recipe went the extra mile with a coconut flaked 'snowy' rim. The liquid part of recipe calls for white wine, sparkling white grape juice or apple juice, cranberries, green grapes, apples, rosemary sprigs, club soda, and simple syrup.
Pro Tip: Refrigerate sangria mixture for 4 hours or more before serving. "You want the fruit to infuse into the sangria so it gets sweet and mellow," writes Amanda of The Chunky Chef.
Ginger Bourbon Pear Sangria
The Recipe: Ginger Bourbon Pear Sangria
Why We Love It: Cranberries take a break in favor of just-as-festive holiday flavors like ginger and cinnamon, pears, and a dose of bourbon. Make Yes to Yolks's sangria recipe with homemade simple syrup (this is where the ginger and cinnamon come in), pear nectar, pear slices, pomegranate arils, ginger ale or seltzer, and bourbon.
Pro Tip: Top with Prosecco and ginger ale or seltzer just before serving chilled.
Cranberry Apple Cider Orange Sangria (Non-Alcoholic)
Why We Love It: Simmered cranberries ("until they pop and split open") become juicy base for Orchids + Sweet Tea's non-alcoholic sangria recipe. Stir in sugar, add citrus, apple cider, and a bit of ginger ale if you'd like. Chill for a few hours and your sangria is ready! Or, go low-ABV with a pinch of alcohol.
Pro Tip: Let simmered cranberry mixture cool fully before chilling.
Winter White Sangria With Canela
The Recipe: Winter White Sangria With Canela
Why We Love It: Canela (cinnamon) adds warm spice to sweet white wine (such as moscato or riesling), tequila, and lemon-lime soda in Muy Bueno Cookbook's holiday sangria recipe. Add cranberries, pears, and citrus slices for fresh fruit flavor.
Pro Tip: Garnish with rosemary for a festive touch. And, Yvette from Muy Bueno Cookbook prefers to use Exotico tequila blanco for this recipe.