As soon as the weather starts to get cool and brisk, I crave all things cozy, from the clothes I wear, to the chunky knit throw blanket on the couch, to the food and drink I like to eat and serve to my guests. I think most of us do; it’s a time to cocoon in our homes with friends and family while enjoying all things comforting.
Sangria is one of my go-to cocktails to serve to guests for a gathering during the fall and winter. And with the addition of Calvados, a smooth, delicious apple brandy imported from France, this sangria goes from average to worthy of even the fanciest holiday fetes.
Serve this apple-infused sangria in a pitcher for a more intimate affair, or make a large batch in a punchbowl and let guests help themselves. To take this cocktail to the next level, rim each glass with cinnamon sugar!
- This sangria is best made the night before so it has a chance to develop its flavors from the brandy, wine, cinnamon stick and fruit.
- Store any leftover sangria in a glass jar in the refrigerator. It should last for up to 3 days (it will get stronger as it sits).
- There are less expensive apple brandies on the market, but I prefer Calvados. During the holiday season, it’s well worth the splurge.
- Use a good quality red wine. I like to use either a cabernet or a Spanish red like Rioja.
- To rim each glass with cinnamon sugar, mix 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon in a shallow bowl. You can use any liquid to moisten the glasses, from water, to apple cider to brandy! Dip each glass, upside down, first in the liquid, then in the sugar mixture.
Holiday Time Sangria
- 1 bottle red wine, such as Cabernet
- Calvados apple brandy, about 1/3 cup
- 1 gala apple, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces (skin on is preferable so the fruit holds together in the liquid)
- 1/2 of an orange, cut into small triangles (rind left on)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- About 1/4 to 1/3 cup of honey crisp apple cider
- Step 1 In the bottom of a large pitcher, place the chopped apples, orange pieces and cinnamon stick.
- Step 2 Pour the apple brandy over the fruit, just to cover.
- Step 3 Pour in the bottle of wine.
- Step 4 Top off with the apple cider.
- Step 5 Give it all a stir, cover the pitcher opening with a piece of plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably, overnight.
- Step 6 Serve chilled in cinnamon-sugar rimmed glasses!