Holiday Sangria

Sangria should not be relegated only to hot, summer afternoons. Any gathering where a fruit-filled, fortified wine livens up the table is a candidate for this tasty libation. I find pitchers of sangria especially nice for entertaining around the holidays. Here, a fruity yet structured red wine gets punched up by apple brandy and warming spices like cinnamon, orange and cloves. With a splash of apple cider, it’s hard to find a more perfect holiday drink.

Holiday Sangria

Prep Time 10 minutes
Sangria should not be relegated only to hot, summer afternoons. Any gathering where a fruit-filled, fortified wine livens up the table is a candidate for this tasty libation. I find pitchers of sangria especially nice for entertaining around the holidays. Here, a fruity yet structured red wine gets punched up by apple brandy and warming spices like cinnamon, orange and cloves. With a splash of apple cider, it's hard to find a more perfect holiday drink.
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Servings 8

Ingredients
 

  • 1 bottle light and fruity red wine, such as a pinot noir
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ½ cup 100 grams packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 strips orange zest, about 2 ½-3 inches long, peeled from a navel orange with a vegetable peeler
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup Calvados, or other apple brandy
  • 1 medium apple

Instructions
 

  • Pour the apple cider into a saucepan and add the brown sugar, cinnamon stick, orange zest and cloves. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until reduced by about ¼, which should take 5 minutes. When it’s finished, it will measure about 1 cup. Remove and cool completely (pouring it to another bowl and resting that in an ice bath helps speed along the process if you need).
  • Stir together the cooled cider, wine, orange juice and apple brandy. Cube the apple and add it to the mixture. If you like, slice the orange that you used for the zest and add that to the sangria as well. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to a day. Serve chilled over ice.
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