This festive Christmas sangria is perfect for the holiday season! It’s a flavorful combination of white wine, sparkling apple cider, calvados, apples, pears, cranberries, and cinnamon. Top it off with ginger beer or sparkling water and enjoy this crisp, fruity, slightly sweet winter cocktail!
Looking for another holiday sangria? Try my apple cider sangria!
Why you’ll love it
Festive – Cranberries, apples, and pears are common seasonal fruits featured in fall and winter recipes. They add a festive appearance and flavor to this sangria recipe.
Easy to make cocktail – Slicing the apple and pear is the only work you’ll be doing to make this sangria. Everything else just gets poured into a pitcher.
Party drink – This winter sangria serves 8 people making it a great option for parties or for serving with Christmas dinner. The recipe can easily be increased for a larger crowd if needed.
What is sangria?
Sangria is a wine based drink that originated in Spain and Portugal. Traditionally it uses red wine, local fruits, and often other alcohols and ingredients.
While red wine is traditionally used, any kind of wine can will work and the fruits, spices, and additional liqueurs can be varied.
- White wine – You’ll want to use a dry crisp white wine for this sangria. Pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc are great choices. Avoid sweet wines.
- Sparkling apple cider – Non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider adds bubbles and a little sweetness to the sangria.
- Calvados – Calvados is an apple brandy. It pairs perfectly with the sparkling cider. If you can’t find it use traditional brandy.
- Apples, pears, cranberries – Fresh, seasonal winter fruit is a must for this winter sangria. I recommend using a crisp apple such as a Honeycrisp or something tart like a Granny Smith. Anjou pears work best since they are firmer and won’t fall apart. Fresh or frozen cranberries may be used.
- Cinnamon stick, star anise – Give the sangria a warm spiced flavor.
- Ginger beer or sparkling water – Either can be used to top off the glasses of sangria with a splash of bubbles.
How to make Christmas sangria
Slice the apple and pear and add them to a pitcher along with the cranberries.
Pour the wine on top of the fruit along with the sparkling apple cider.
Pour the calvados in next and then drop in the cinnamon sticks and star anise.
Stir everything together and then refrigerate it for at least 2-3 hours or even overnight for a more intense fruit flavor.
When you’re ready to serve the sangria, pour it into glasses and top it off with a splash of ginger beer or sparkling water. Garnish the cocktails with an apple or pear slice, cinnamon stick and a sprig of fresh rosemary if desired.
Can sangria be made ahead of time?
Yes. I actually recommend making sangria at the very least, a least a few hours before serving it. Making it a day ahead of time will make it even more flavorful. It will keep for up to 3 days.
What kind of wine is best for sangria?
I recommend using a dry white wine such as pinto grigio or cabernet sauvignon to avoid the sangria tasting too sweet.
What can I replace calvados with?
Calvados is an apple brandy. You can replace it with regular brandy, bourbon, or Grand Marnier for a more orange forward flavor.
Can I use frozen cranberries for this holiday sangria?
Yes, you can use frozen cranberries for this sangria. No need to defrost them.
More holiday cocktails to try
Did you make this Christmas sangria? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 (750ml) bottle dry white wine
- 1 cup sparkling apple cider
- 1/2 cup calvados or brandy
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 thinly sliced apple, Honeycrisp or Granny Smith work well
- 1 thinly sliced Anjou pear
- 2 cinnamon stickes
- 2 star anise
- Add the sliced pear, apple, and cranberries to a pitcher. Pour in the wine, sparkling apple cider, and calvados. Drop in the cinnamon sticks and star anise and stir everything together.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. For serving, pour the sangria into glasses and top them off with ginger beer or sparkling water. Garnish with an apple or pear slice, cinnamon stick and sprig of fresh rosemary.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 18gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.