It’s incredible how many delightful forms wine can take. You can use white wine for a risotto or use red wine for cooking. What about the legendary sangria?
Sangria is an old-fashioned drink usually conserved for the summer months. Thankfully, you can make sangria into a winter treat. All you have to do is broaden your horizons! This recipe usually comes with chilled red wine, fruit, and the occasional dash of brandy.
Below is our ultimate winter sangria, which you can also drink during chilly, rainy spring weather. We kept our recipe simple so you can toss it together quickly and get back to relaxing.
The History of Sangria Recipes
Did you know sangria comes from Spain? This traditional drink is beloved for its vibrant taste and gorgeous appearance. Putting together a sangria is not unlike putting together a bouquet of beautiful flowers.
Sangria is a pretty old drink, too. This recipe dates back thousands of years all the way to 200 B.C.. The more recent versions we’re familiar with originated in the 1800’s throughout Spain and France. Italy has also gotten in on the action, having a unique sangria style that is usually consumed during the summer.
Why is sangria suitable for winter? It has something to do with the rich, warm flavor and bold coloration. Sangria looks similar to cranberry sauce and is often supplemented with winter-like baking spices.
Step #1: Choose Your Red Wine
What kind of wine do you prefer during the colder months? Sangria is always crafted with red wine, though which kind depends on your personal tastes.
We highly recommend a drier wine so you can have a better balance of flavors. A more juicy or fruity wine runs the risk of drowning out all the other ingredients. Consider Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon for this recipe. If you have a Pinot Noir, you can still use it (though expect a more tart result).
Step #2: Choose Your Brandy
What’s the most common ingredient used in sangria besides red wine? A tasty brandy! While some recipes call for vodka or gin, brandy provides the best balance of flavor.
The dry tartness of the wine mixes well with the sweetness of brandy.
Step #3: Get a Slew of Chopped Fruit
Sangria is fun because you get to drink it and eat it at the same time. The most common fruits used for sangria are oranges, pears, and limes.
If you want to get creative, you can also consider peaches or blackberries. Creativity is part of the fun of winter sangria! Make sure the fruit isn’t too big so you can put in the rest of the ingredients. Chopping it too small isn’t a good idea, either, since you don’t want to choke.
This step is even easier when you’re familiar with the flavor notes of your red wine of choice. Balance is essential.
Related: How to Make Mulled Wine at Home
Step #4: Add in Cinnamon Sticks
What’s a hallmark of winter? Warm, relaxing cinnamon. Cinnamon sticks should be added in your sangria near the end to imbue it with that classic baking spice flavor.
You can also use this cinnamon stick to stir your drink and blend in all the ingredients. Win-win!
Step #5: Save the Ginger Ale or Sparkling Water for Last
This step absolutely must be saved for last, since sparkling water or ginger ale doesn’t stay bubbly for long. Once you’ve poured in the red wine, brandy, fruit, and cinnamon sticks, add this last ingredient.
Give your drink a stir to ensure everything is properly mixed together.
What makes wine taste even better? Classy drinkware. We provide wine drinkers of all experience levels decanters, charcuterie boards, and stemware to support their journey.
Step #6: Let Your Fruit Soak Overnight
Sangria tastes much better when you let the fruit soak in the wine. Your drink will have a much more sumptuous flavor and aroma.
We recommend at least a few hours for soaking, though overnight is the most ideal. Storing wine is an art form all in of itself!
Step #7: Serve Over Ice or Chilled
If you want your drink extra cold, plunk in a few cubes of ice. If you don’t want to water down your drink, serve it chilled.
Before adding in sparkling water or ginger ale, put your glass in the fridge to chill for a few hours. Add your bubbly minutes before you’re ready to drink so it tastes best.
Step #8: Serve and Enjoy
Once you’re all done mixing everything up, you’re ready to enjoy. The winter sangria is incredibly easy to make, tastes delicious, and looks charming.
Serve this drink among friends, family, or by yourself with your favorite movie.
The winter sangria is a fun twist on a summer staple. With just a few ingredients, you’ll craft a drink that delights the senses and relaxes your mind.
Winter sangria is composed of a red wine, brandy, a fizzy component, cinnamon sticks, and fruit. We recommend letting the fruit soak overnight for a better flavor. You can also toss this drink over ice.
Craft your winter sangria in a glass that brings out your wine’s best qualities. Contact us today to enjoy the finest barware, stemware, and accessories.