Spiced Sangria: The Holiday Series

I know what you’re thinking… “can that sangria possibly taste as good as it looks?” The answer is, “it can, and it does.” You may have noticed a recurring theme with the holiday series– spices and seasonal foods that seem only appropriate around Thanksgiving/Christmas… and you’re absolutely right. You wouldn’t be cooking with nutmeg and cinnamon unless the mood struck or the season was the reason! Around the holidays, I feel that the mood is permanently “struck,” and that we should load up with these flavors that accompany happy, holiday memories.

While I am a holiday freak and what some would consider Christmas-obsessed, I know that holidays can be stressful, too. Let’s be real, hosting parties can be chaotic (understatement), and supplying adult beverages can become costly (another understatement). But if you have a relative who gave a go at making their own wine (guilty), have some left over bota box wine, or just need to throw something together that will satisfy everyone, look no further (: I typically never drink sangria because it’s too sweet. I like my coffee black, and I like my wine dry. But because it’s a spiced sangria and very little cider is used, it’s the perfect cocktail for just one or two AND can be served warm or over ice.  Also a warning! This is a boozy beverage and not your typical sangria as there’s much more wine/whiskey than cider or soda (there is no soda…).

This recipe is definitely party-sized and makes a hefty batch (maybe 20-25 drinks… depending on who’s pouring) so feel free to cut in half for a small friendly gathering. If you have a larger group to host, this will be a good party punch.


  • Two 750 mL bottles of red wine (your choice…but I would not recommend anything sweet)
  • 750 mL of bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 gallon of apple cider
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp of allspice
  • 1 tbsp of whole cloves
  • 2 plums diced
  • 2 oranges sliced
  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries (more for decor, but hey… why not)
  • orange peel for garnish


  1. Add cider, spices, and fruit to a large stock pot and bring a low simmer over medium heat until the spices are fragrant (your kitchen will smell delectable)
  2. Reduce heat to low and add the wine and whiskey
  3. Stir for roughly 1 minute and take off of heat
  4. Serve straight away for warm, mulled sangria or put into a pitcher (fruit and all) to cool and serve over ice (this will also let the fruit soak a little longer)
  5. Garnish with the accompanying fruit and a fresh orange peel


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Make some memories, and happy Holidays (: