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Mulled Wine Christmas Sangria

December 6, 2019 (Last Updated: December 12, 2019)

This festively-spiced mulled wine sangria is Christmas in a glass! With wintery flavors of citrus, blackberry, pomegranate, apple cider and cinnamon, it’s an inventive twist on a Spanish cocktail party favorite.

This sangria is such a simple, elegant (and affordable) cocktail for a big party or a special, cozy night for two by the Christmas tree. It also doesn’t require an over-night soak to be perfectly fruit-sweetened! Just 3 hours, and your gorgeous sangria is ready to make its debut.

3 glasses of sangria, garnished with fruits, flowers, herbs and star anise on a dark table, with a few scattered cranberries and blackberries..

I love sangria for parties! Whether sitting by the pool or the fireplace, it’s always my go-to when I don’t want to be shaking up drinks in the kitchen, and simply have a beautiful, pre-made cocktail in my hand while I chat with friends.

For Summer, I love this tropical watermelon sangria, and for parties where I want to enchant guests with color, I serve this honeydew & cucumber white sangria. There’s truly nothing like the color of fresh honeydew juice. It looks like the tastiest cocktail in Emerald city!

But for Christmas, I love the deep reds of this sangria, with snowy baby’s breath accents.

A closeup of a glass of sangria garnished with fruits, flowers, herbs and star anise on a dark table.

A Few Tips!

1. Save some un-drunken fruit for garnish

The fruit you add to the wine while it’s cooling in the fridge will be stained by the wine, which is totally fine, but to make a prettier,  more colorful garnish, set some fresh fruit aside and add it to the drunken-fruit in the glasses when ready to serve.

If adding green apple to your garnish, make sure to add some lemon juice to a bowl and swish the cut apples around to prevent them from browning.

Berries, citrus and apple garnished in small wooden bowls on a table with 3 empty wine glasses.

2. Make floral, herbal garnishes too!

The fresh fruit will look beautiful, but if you really want to turn up the “gorgeous” factor of your garnish, make tiny bunches of thyme and flowers. I used baby’s breath and waxflower (two non-toxic flowers).

If you can’t find organic flowers, just be sure to wash them by soaking them in water for at least 10 minutes and rinsing them when removed to eliminate as much pesticide as possible. Flowers are generally treated with the same pesticide as vegetables, but much, much more, so you really want to be sure they’re thoroughly washed.

2 small bunches of herbs and flowers on a table with 3 star anise.

A Few Common Questions:

1. What kind of wine should I use?

Red wine sangrias are commonly made with Rioja, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Pino Noir, and you don’t need to splurge on a fancy wine to get a wonderfully tasting sangria.

It will be so flavored by the spices, fruits, brandy and juice that any subtle or complex notes of a fine wine will be lost, so don’t feel obligated to use a fancy bottle that you’ve been saving for a special occasion.

2. What do I need to make this sangria?

  • Cutting board and sharp knife
  • Large pot with a lid
  • Container to cool the sangria in your refrigerator
  • Tea egg for cloves – or small amount of cheese cloth and baker’s string

3. How far ahead can I make this sangria?

This sangria will be perfect after 3 hours, but you can allow it to sit over night. You don’t want it to sit in the refrigerator for more than 12 hours, however, or flavors of cinnamon may become too strong, and the fruit may become mushy.

A glass of sangria garnished with fruits, flowers, herbs and star anise on a dark table.

Enjoy this deliciously festive Christmas sangria! And for more inspiration, follow me on INSTAGRAM @shekeepsalovelyhome, on PINTEREST and FACEBOOK! And if you ever make any of my tasty drinks or treats, take a picture and tag me. I want to see!

A glass of sangria garnished with fruits, flowers, herbs and star anise on a dark table.
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5 from 2 votes

Mulled Wine Christmas Sangria

This festively spiced, sparkling, mulled wine sangria is Christmas in a glass! With wintery flavors of citrus, blackberry, pomegranate, apple cider and cinnamon, it’s an inventive twist on a Spanish cocktail party favorite. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
cooling time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 25 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: International
Keyword: christmas sangria
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 205kcal

Equipment

  • Cutting board and sharp knife
  • Pot with a lid - big enough for a bottle of wine and your fruits
  • Container - to cool the sangria in your refrigerator
  • Tea egg for cloves - or small amount of cheese cloth and baker’s string

Ingredients

  • 1

     bottle

    red wine

    - Rioja, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Pino Noir

  • ¼ 

    cup

    brandy

  • 1

    cup

    apple cider

  • green apples

    - 1 for mulled wine, 1 for fresh garnish

  • 2

    lemons

    - 1 for mulled wine, 1 for fresh garnish

  • 2

    limes 

    - 1 for mulled wine, 1 for fresh garnish

  • orange

  • 1 cup

    blackberries

    - ½ cup for mulled wine and the rest for fresh garnish

  • 1

    cup

    cranberries

    - ½ cup for mulled wine and ½ cup for fresh garnish

  • ½

    cup

    pomegranate seeds

  • ¼

    cup

    honey

  • 3

    cinnamon sticks

  • 1

     tsp.

    cloves

  • star anise

    - optional for garnish

  • thyme

    - optional for garnish

  • flowers

    - optional for garnish. I used baby’s breath and waxflower.

Instructions

  • In a pot, pour 1 bottle of red wine, 1 cup apple cider and ¼ cup of honey. Add 3 cinnamon sticks and 1 tsp. of cloves in a tea egg (or wrapped in cheese cloth and tied with baker’s string). Place a lid on top and simmer on very low heat for 20 minutes. Never allow it to boil.
  • While the wine simmers with the cider, spices and honey, slice 1 green apple, 1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime
  • When finished, pour mulled wine into a jug or container with sliced fruit, ½ cup of blackberries and ½ cup cranberries. Add ¼ cup of brandy, stir gently and refrigerate for 2-3 hours until cold.
  • For garnish, thinly slice 1 lemon, 1 lime, and 1 green apple. Add ice to glasses and pour sangria, adding some of the drunken fruit, and leaving some room for fresh fruit. Add blackberries, pomegranate seeds, cranberries, and sliced fruit with optional star anise and herbal-floral garnish.

Notes

Save some un-drunken fruit for garnish
The fruit you add to the wine while it's cooling in the fridge will be stained by the wine, which is totally fine, but to make a much prettier, colorful garnish, set some fresh fruit aside and add it to the drunken-fruit in the glasses when ready to serve. If adding green apple to your garnish, make sure to add some lemon juice to a bowl and swish the cut apples around to prevent them from browning.
Make this sangria no more than 12 hours before the party.
This sangria will be perfect after 3 hours, but you can allow it to sit over night. You don’t want it cool in the refrigerator for more than 12 hours, however, or flavors of cinnamon may become too strong, and the fruit may become mushy.

Nutrition

Serving: 5cocktails | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 343mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 136IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg

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