Winter Sangria

It is beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS earlier than normal this year. Right after Halloween, the weather became drastically cooler than usual this year along with all the holiday decorations in town! When I host family or friends at the holidays, I always notice that people enjoy a festive drink that they can sip on. You can never go wrong with sangria for fall/winter holidays. I love a fun cocktail, and this EASY WINTER SANGRIA is my new favorite because its delicious, festive and fun! This recipe is perfect for make ahead and leave it overnight so the sangria tastes even more flavorful! Large batch cocktails are easy to make and offer to guest without the need of anyone playing bartender.

When it comes to making a good sangria, the best wines to choose are fruity and low tannin red wines, because when chilled high tannin wine tastes sort of chalky and horrible. Tannins are naturally occurring compounds in grape skins, seeds and stems that can make the wine taste bitter or astringent. Garnacha and pinot noir are low tannin red wines vs cabernet is very high in tannins.

When it comes to basic sangria recipe, there are few things that I always add to my drink – wine (red or white), apples, oranges, or any fruits of choice/available, whole seasonings like cinnamon, grand marnier, and any choice of juice. You can always add simple syrups to balance everything out and to slight counteract the orange liqueur and the dryness of the wine. I challenge you to try this for your next time and please let me know how this winter sangria recipe turns out for you in the comments! Your feedback keeps me going, and I am so eager to hear what you serve with your sangria. Better yet, can I come to your party?

Ingredients

1 bottle garnacha or any low tannin red wine

1 cup diet cranberry drink

1 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup grand marnier

2 clementines, halved, thinly sliced

1 apple, halved, thinly sliced

4-6 cinnamon sticks

1-2 tbsp star anise

1 cup diet lemon lime soda

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Method

Combine wine, cranberry drink, pomegranate juice, grand marnier, apples, clementines, lemon, cinnamon sticks and star anise in a pitcher. Chill for 4-6 hours to overnight so flavors can meld. When ready to serve, stir in lemon-lime soda and serve over ice, and garnish with seeds.

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