Fall cocktails are the best way to kick off a holiday meal, and this Ultimate Thanksgiving Sangria is guaranteed to get your party started. Luscious red wine, brandy, apple cider and pomegranate juice combine with seasonal fruits like pears and apples to create a totally festive and sippable holiday drink.
What is sangria?
Sangria is a mixed cocktail or punch that uses wine as its base. The most common ingredients for sangria are:
- Wine. Red or white wine can be used in sangria, and many restaurant menus will feature one or both based on the season.
- Fruit. All kinds of fruits can go into sangria, from citrus to stone fruit to berries. The type of fruit often depends on whether the wine is white or red, and also on the season.
- Sugar. Some sangria recipes use honey or agave syrup instead.
- Liquor. Most commonly, brandy or a fruit-based liqueur.
What’s in this Ultimate Thanksgiving Sangria?
This holiday version of sangria is full of all the ripe, juicy, spicy flavors of the season, plus my favorite special ingredient. Here’s what you’ll need:
A Spanish red is, of course, the best fit when you’re making sangria. Go for a Garnacha or Tempranillo. I also love using Lambrusco wine in sangria, even though it’s not Spanish (it’s Italian). It has a cool effervescence that makes the sangria even more festive.
Using real vanilla bean in this Thanksgiving Sangria really elevates the flavor and makes it extra special. You can find whole vanilla beans in most supermarkets. In a pinch, you can substitute pure vanilla extract.
How to make Thanksgiving Sangria
The best part about this punch-style cocktail is that you make a big batch and let your guests serve themselves. Easy entertaining! Follow these simple steps:
- Put the fruit, sugar and vanilla beans into a pot. Boil them just until the sugar dissolves.
- Stir in the wine, brandy and fruit juices.
- Let it sit! The longer sangria sits, the better it’s going to taste. Kind of like fine wine!
How to serve sangria
Sangria is best served chilled or over ice. Avoid putting ice directly into the punch bowl, as it will water the flavors down.
Garnish each glass with lots of fruit and pomegranate arils. If there is any Thanksgiving Sangria left over, store it in the refrigerator.
When you make this Ultimate Thanksgiving Sangria, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Cheers!
For more festive drink recipes, try these:
- Mulled Spiked Cider
- Thanksgiving Moscow Mules
- Fig Old Fashioned Cocktail
- Holiday Manhattan Cocktails
- Pomegranate Bellini
Ultimate Thanksgiving Sangria
- 2 bottles red wine
- 1 cup brandy
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 whole vanilla beans or 3 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 apples
- 3 pears
- pomegranate arils garnish, optional
- Peel and slice the pears. Slice the apples into wedges.
- Place pears, apples and sugar into a stock pot. Slice open the vanilla beans and scrape the insides into the pot.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer until sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the wine, brandy and fruit juices. Cool to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator or serve over ice. Store in refrigerator.