This Winter White Sangria recipe is a festive, sparkly drink that shows off the fruits and spices we love during the holiday season. Packed full of delicious, comforting flavors including apples, pears, cranberries, and cinnamon, this quick and easy winter cocktail is the perfect holiday drink. I like to make a batch of this white sangria recipe ahead of time and serve in my favorite wine glasses. Best of all, it takes just 15 minutes to put together!
The Perfect Holiday White Wine Sangria
We usually think of sangria as a summer drink, but this winter white sangria is a perfect cold-weather wine cocktail for entertaining during the holidays. Packed full of delicious winter fruits — oranges, cranberries, apples, and pears — this holiday white wine sangria also showcases the warm, comforting winter spices of ginger, cinnamon, and star anise. Whether you enjoy simple, intimate gatherings or larger holiday events, this white wine sangria recipe will become your new favorite festive cocktail.
What is Sangria, Anyway?
The name sangria actually has Latino roots. “Sangria” is the Spanish word for “blood” because red wine was originally used to make this classic cocktail. The drink probably dates back to the middle ages, but it became popular in North America when it was served in New York at the 1964 World’s Fair. I found this Sangria info, and more, here.
Sangria is a wine-based drink that can be used with either red or white wine (rosé, too). With wine as a base, you can use any kind of fruit, a liqueur, if desired, or juice and other flavourings. Sometimes, a sweetener is added, too, depending on how dry the wine used for a base is. Red or white, winter or summer, you can never go wrong with whipping up a batch of this wine-based classic.
Here’s What You Need to Make This Sangria Recipe
- Red Anjou pears
- Mandarin oranges
- Fresh cranberries
- Cinnamon sticks
- Star anise
- Candied ginger
- Orange liqueur
- Dry sparkling white wine
The Right Ingredients Matter
Because of the mix in’s, sangria is not the occasion to use a complex, expensive wine. Save that for sipping on its own or with a meal! But, do still use a wine that you would drink on its own. That being said, sangria is also not a reason to use bad wine. A dry, fruity wine works best as your base, and it can be red, white, rosé, or even, as in this recipe, sparkling.
I used winter fruits, which can be eaten, and the fruit will taste amazing after soaking in wine, liqueur, and spices. I wouldn’t recommend eating the cranberries, though, because they are very tart. They are mainly there for garnish, just because they add a festive touch!
How to Make This Holiday Sangria Recipe, Step By Step
Before you start to make this recipe, it’s important to note that my version doesn’t contain any added sweeteners, as it’s meant to be a dry beverage. If you prefer it sweeter, stir in some honey or maple syrup before adding the wine.
Step 1: Mix the Ingredients
Stir together all ingredients EXCEPT the wine in a covered jar, then allow to sit overnight or a least 2 hours in the fridge. Remember, this is the perfect holiday cocktail to make ahead of time! You can save precious minutes on the day of by simply having this pre-prepared and pulling it out of the refrigerator. I would definitely caution AGAINST skipping the “let it sit” step — this really allows for the ingredients to fully fuse together.
Step 2: Add the Wine
When it’s time to serve, find your favourite carafe, pitcher, or punch bowl and add about a third’s portion of ice. Then, pour in the fruit mixture that has (hopefully) spent the night in the fridge, and finally top with sparkling wine. Don’t forget to garnish with a few fresh cinnamon sticks and cranberries — presentation is key!
Step 3: Don’t Forget the Forks!
Because this holiday drink can actually double as a tasty snack, it’s a nice idea to serve with small cocktail forks so you and yours can enjoy the deliciously juicy sangria fruit. Pro Tip: A punch bowl it a great way to serve your fruity concoction, but a large, clear pitcher works, too.
Looking for more quick and easy cocktail recipes? Why not try a Ginger Snap Cocktail, (another amazing holiday cocktail), or try a Greyhound, a delicious grapefruit drink, or a Caesar, Canada’s cocktail. Cheers!
Winter White Sangria
- 1 apple cored, and sliced
- 1 red Anjou pear cored and sliced
- 4 Mandarin oranges peeled segmented
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 6 star anise
- 2 tbsp candied ginger chopped
- 1 cup orange liqueur
- 26 oz dry sparkling white wine 1 bottle
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Stir together all ingredients EXCEPT wine in a covered jar, and allow to sit overnight or a least 2 hours in the fridge.
- Just before serving, add ice to a pitcher or punch bowl, pour in fruit mixture, and top off with sparkling wine.