Holiday Sangria

Story by Alyssa
Holiday Sangria
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Here we are one week into December and I’ve already attended three holiday parties and am hosting one this weekend, but you’ll never hear me complain about too many holiday parties or too many festive activities. Bring on all the lights and cheese trays and white elephant gift exchanges…you name it, I love it all and the more, the better! However, it’s always at about this time in early December when I look at our schedule and realize we still have a good 4 or 5 holiday gatherings that I start to panic about coming up with another appetizer or side dish to contribute.

...perfectly incorporates your favorite seasonal flavors while keeping things light...

Holiday Sangria

Why the panic? Well, for one, holiday food can get a bit mundane if you aren’t super intentional to mix things up and get creative and secondly all of those dishes can take up a lot of time and energy when just getting myself out of leggings and three kids dressed and on time to the party is work enough for me. So where does that leave me? I refuse to be the store-bought veggie tray lady (no offense if that’s you- it’s just not my thing) and grocery store baked goods just leave something to be desired. No thank you. So, I’ve started volunteering to bring the drinks. I know, I’m a genius. And what’s even better is that with just a little (and I mean like really barely any) effort I’m still praised for making something delicious (and this matters to me people, because I have an angry toddler at home and sometimes this momma just wants some compliments).

I’ve experimented with various cocktails, but by far my favorite drink to bring to any party this time of year is this uber simple and festive holiday sangria. A decent bottle of red wine, brandy, some sparkling cider, cinnamon sticks, apples, oranges and cranberries are all it takes to make this refreshing and fizzy drink that perfectly incorporates your favorite seasonal flavors while keeping things light enough to compliment all that rich food you’ll be eating.

The next time you receive an invite to a party this year, put down the cookbook and keep it light and fun with this easy drinking holiday sangria. It’s guaranteed to be a big hit and no one will know you’re lazy, I promise. 

Holiday Sangria

Serves 6


1 bottle sparkling apple cider
1 bottle red wine
1 cup brandy
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups cranberries
1 orange, sliced
1 apple, cubed
2-3 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
4 sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish


In a large pitcher (or punch bowl) combine all ingredients. Stir to mix, cover and set in refrigerator overnight to allow flavors to come together. Serve over ice garnished with fresh rosemary sprigs.