This Christmas Sangria is the most festive red sangria recipe for all of your holiday celebrations! It’s the best red sangria ever, and it’s SO easy to make. It’s made with your favorite red wine, a touch of cinnamon simple syrup, pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, a little orange liqueur, pomegranate arils, sliced oranges, honeycrisp apples, and fresh cranberries!
This is my favorite red sangria recipe I’ve EVER made, so much so that I’m going to make it year round. Not just the holidays! It’s unbelievably good. The cinnamon simple syrup adds the perfect amount of spice, and the pomegranate and cranberry juices taste amazing with the dry red wine. It’s just perfectly balanced and just so, so delicious!
I did name this Christmas sangria just because it’s super festive and fun, but it’s amazing for any holiday gathering! And I’m definitely going to be making this year round because it’s THAT good.
Making The Best Holiday Sangria Recipe
A few things that I always add to my red sangrias no matter what: orange liqueur (Grand Marnier specifically), some type of simple syrup (in this case, cinnamon!), apples, oranges, and whatever other fruit I’m feeling! The GM is a game changer in sangria, and I always use it in my margaritas too. The simple syrup helps to balance everything out and to slightly counteract the orange liqueur, and the dryness of the red wine too. Apples and oranges are always a must, but I added cranberries and pomegranate arils to this one too! Because hello, how festive and gorg are they?!
I also took the festive-ness a step further and made sugared cranberries because I love making them this time of year. They’re such a beautiful addition to desserts and cocktails and they’re super simple to make. Totally optional, but who wouldn’t want sparkly snow covered sugary cranberry balls in their drink?!
To say I’m obsessed is an understatement.
This recipe is perfect for make-ahead because who has extra time during the holidays? Definitely not me. You can make the simple syrup ahead of time, as well as the sugared cranberries, and you can put everything together in a pitcher and store it in the fridge for hours before you want to consume it.
I wouldn’t go as far as leaving it overnight, because the fruit could get weird, but the simple syrup and cranberries can be made days ahead of time!
I used one of my favorite full bodied, dry red wines for this recipe. Mine was a cab, but a red blend or garnacha would be amazing here too.
I prefer something on the sturdier side for this sangria – a pinot might be too light with all the flavors we’ve got going on. That being said, use something that you love to drink on its own!
I can’t get over how much I love this – it’s SO good! Dangerously good, in fact. It goes down waaaaay too easily.
I love garnishing this sangria with a cinnamon stick and a sprig of fresh rosemary. And don’t worry – it won’t make your drink taste like rosemary! It just makes it extra festive and beautiful.
My favorite apples to use in this are honeycrisp apples because they’re the best ever, and I used regular navel oranges in this, but blood oranges or cara cara oranges would be wonderful and super festive because they’re in season! And they’re so gorgeous too.
This sparkling sangria is also a fantastic cocktail to add to your holiday menus. You could even serve it with this one at a party if you wanted a white and red sangria option!
Also something super fun! This red sangria is part of a fun little collaboration I did with my friends Jess, Allie, and Karlee. Today, two of us are sharing cocktail recipes, and two are sharing cookie recipes! All in time for the holiday craziness. They are all SO insanely talented, and you must check out their recipes!
I hope this sangria is a part of your special holiday celebrations – you will absolutely love it!
This Christmas Sangria is the most festive red sangria recipe for all of your holiday celebrations! It's the best red sangria ever, and SO easy to make. It's made with your favorite red wine, a touch of cinnamon simple syrup, pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, a little orange liqueur, pomegranate arils, sliced oranges, honeycrisp apples, and fresh cranberries!
For the sangria
- 1 bottle dry red wine*
- 1 cup cranberry juice*
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/3 cup Grand Marnier*
- 3/4 cup cinnamon simple syrup*
- 1 honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
- 1 navel orange, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- crushed ice for serving
- cinnamon sticks for garnish
- rosemary sprigs for garnish
For the cinnamon simple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
For the sugared cranberries
- 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
In a large pitcher, combine the red wine, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, Grand Marnier, 3/4 cup of the cinnamon simple syrup, apple slices, orange slices, cranberries, and pomegranate arils. Stir to combine. Chill in the fridge for 2-4 hours or until ready to serve, or serve immediately over crushed ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, a sprig of rosemary, and a handful of sugared cranberries!
Cinnamon simple syrup
In a medium saucepan, bring water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes to infuse the cinnamon flavor into the syrup a bit more. Let cool completely, then discard the cinnamon sticks.
Bring water and ½ cup of the sugar to a boil. Once boiling, stir for thirty seconds until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the cranberries. Stir until completely coated, then transfer to a wire rack to dry. Let dry for 30 minutes, then roll in the remaining sugar, working in batches. Transfer back to the rack, and let dry for an additional hour. Store in a cool, dry place.
*I used a full bodied cabernet sauvignon for this recipe, and I find that drier, deeper wines work best for this recipe. A red blend or garnacha would work great here too! A pinot might be too light, but be sure to use something you love to drink on its own!
*Be sure to use plain cranberry juice, not cranberry juice cocktail. It will be too sweet if you use the cocktail!
*I swear by using Grand Marnier in my cocktail and margarita recipes, but you could totally use Cointreau or Triple Sec or whatever you have.
*This makes extra cinnamon simple syrup. I like the balance and flavor that using 3/4 cup has in this recipe, but if you like things less sweet, start with 1/2 cup! And if you like your drinks super sweet, add more to suit your tastes! Extra simple syrup will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks! Add it to cocktails, coffee, desserts, and whatever your heart desires!
*The sugared cranberries can be made up to 3 days in advance, and the cinnamon simple syrup can be made up to a week or two ahead of time!