Love, love, love sangrias! Sangria – the national drink of Spain and Portugal. A glorious combination of red wine, fruit, and spirits. Served at bars, restaurants and family tables throughout the county. Even children have their own non-alcoholic version for birthday parties – Ponche de Sangria (substitute wine with soft drink). Sangria is also versatile, inexpensive, easy to make and great for parties.
This Thanksgiving Sangria marries favorite fall flavors like apple cider and pumpkin butter with the fun party flavors of brandy, orange liqueur and white wine. It’s well balanced, refreshing and ideal for Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving. Pour me a glass, please! Okay, two!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST SANGRIA
Don’t rush it. Be patient. Sangria doesn’t require expensive alcohol, but some inexpensive brands have harsh flavors compared to premium brands. If you mix and serve right away, the flavors may compete with each other resulting in a sharp drink that makes you pucker. Who wants to drink that? I like to blend the alcohol the night before and macerate the fruit an hour before serving. This allows the alcohol ample time to marry all the different flavors, resulting in a smooth and enjoyable drink. This method always works for me – regardless of the sangria I’m making. It also helps me manage my time in the kitchen.
HOW I MAKE MY SANGRIA
The day before combine the white wine, apple cider, brandy, orange liqueur, pumpkin butter, maple syrup and lemon juice in a large jug or empty gallon with cap. Cap the jug and shake vigorously to combine all the ingredients and distribute the pumpkin butter. Refrigerate overnight.
Slice the apples, oranges and combine with pomegranate arils in a plastic bag. Move the fruit around so the apples are coated with the citric acid to prevent browning. Refrigerate overnight. If you prefer to slice the fruit just before macerating, you can do that as well. For me, prepping ahead of time is a great time saver.
Macerate the fruit in the sangria mix an hour before serving. Add the pre-sliced fruit, pomegranate arils, cinnamon sticks and anise stars to a pitcher. Set aside. Use an ultra fine mesh strainer, like this tea strainer, to filter the sangria mix as you slowly pour it directly into the pitcher. Stir and refrigerate for an hour. Just before serving add the cold ginger beer to the sangria and garnish the glasses with extra fruit. Set our for your guests to self-serve.
Note: Fruits macerate quickly so they don’t need to be blended with the alcohol overnight – an hour is sufficient time to macerate. Pumpkin butter has some spices that don’t dissolve – like cloves. No one wants a gritty drink, so I recommend filtering the mix. If the spices don’t bother you, you can skip this step and just fill the pitcher.
I made a double batch and it was gone before we sat down to eat. Drinking sangria, nibbling on appetizers as the turkey was roasting set the perfect tone for a memorable Thanksgiving. Cheers and Happy Friendsgiving & Thanksgiving!
It's crisp, refreshing and goes down easy. Perfect drink to kick off the Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving holiday season. Cheers to friends, family and being thankful! Make a double batch!
- 1 750 ml inexpensive bottle of white wine Pinot Gregio, Vouvray or Blanc
- 2½ cups apple cider prefer Honey Crisp apple cider
- ¾ cup brandy
- ¾ cups orange liqueur
- 1 10-ounce jar of pumpkin butter prefer Trader Joe's brand
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup or caster sugar
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 honeycrisp apples, thinly sliced, plus extra for garnish
- 1 navel oranges, thinly sliced, plus extra for garnish
- 1 cup pomegranate arils, plus extra for garnish
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks, plus extra for garnish
- 2-3 anise stars
- 1 12-ounce ginger beer, kept refrigerated and cold prefer Fever-Tree or Bundaberg brands
The Day Before – Marry The Flavors
Combine white wine, apple cider, brandy, orange liqueur, pumpkin butter, maple syrup and lemon juice in an empty jug or gallon container. Cap the jug and shake vigorously to combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate overnight so the flavors marry.
Slice the apples, oranges and combine with pomegranate arils in a plastic bag. Move the fruit around so the apples are coated with the citric acid to prevent browning. Refrigerate overnight.
An Hour Before – Macerate The Fruit
Add sliced apples, oranges, pomegranate arils, cinnamon sticks and anise stars to a pitcher. Set aside.
Use an ultra fine mesh strainer to filter the the sangria as you pour it into the pitcher. Refrigerate up to an hour before serving to macerate the fruit.
Just before serving, stir in cold ginger beer to the sangria and garnish glasses. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Butter has spices that do not dissolve – like cloves. Sangria shouldn’t be gritty so I like to filter the spices to ensure a smooth drink. If the spices don’t bother you, don’t filter the sangria.