This is a go-to holiday cocktail with some festive twists on the typical summer sangria. It's simple, quick and easily batched, freeing you up to enjoy time with your guests rather than slinging cocktails.
Prep: 10 minutes | 5-6 servings
- 1 bottle red wine (I recommend granache or tempranillo)
- ½ cup Lairds Applejack
- ¾ cup apple cider
- 2 cups POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 pear
- 1 green apple
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Top with club soda when serving
A few notes on the ingredients: I like grenache because it generally has lower tannins, great acidity and highlights red fruit flavors well. You don’t have to break the bank either — this Bodegas Borsao was just $12 and is a great choice. Applejack, which dates back to 1698, is similar to an apple brandy. It’s darn good on it’s own but it adds nice, warm fall flavors to this sangria (it’s also a good way to sell any whiskey drinkers like myself on drinking "sangria"). Finally, I used POM Wonderful 100% juice so you could actually say that there’s a health benefit to imbibing this (are you catching on to my ability to justify drinking yet?)
- Dice your pear and green apple, drop into your pitcher
- Add the honey, pomegranate juice, cinnamon stick, apple cider and wine (be sure to sample the wine and Applejack first for quality control)
- Stir, cover well and place in the refrigerator
I recommend giving this 24 to 48 hours before serving because like your turkey leftovers, it just gets better over time. If stored covered in the fridge it should keep for about a week.
When you’re ready to serve, fill a glass with sangria, scoop in some of the floating fruit and top off with a couple ounces of club soda. This step is important because bubbles in the drink actually direct aroma up to the drinker’s nose, thereby creating a heightened perception of flavor (science!). Garnish if you like with a thin slice of pear.
I hope this festive tipple brings you and yours some great holiday memories. Cheers!