A Winter Spiced Sangria Cocktail, with fruit, liqueurs, warm spiced simple syrup and herbs, makes for a perfect winter cocktail sip.
Every winter sangria must start with a good bottle of red wine.
Never use a wine for a sangria that you wouldn’t want to sip on its own.
The idea of a winter sangria is to take a rich red wine and deepen its flavors with the addition of warm spices that have steeped in a simple syrup.
Using winter fruits, such as apples and oranges, brings a freshness from the fruit but, my oh my, wait until you bite into that apple that has been soaking up the wine!
What Is A Winter Spiced Sangria Cocktail?
A dark red winter sangria lends itself to warm winter spices to flavor the simple syrup, with fruits that best compliment the liqueurs chosen to add.
An Apple Brandy makes a great addition to a dark red wine.
Add a splash of apple cider simmered with cinnamon, cloves and orange rinds, and you’ve got the perfect fruit sangria for the winter months and holiday occasions.
Sangria, derived from the word ‘sange’ or blood in Spanish, originated as a way to ward off bacteria in water many years ago.
It was believed to protect the blood from bacteria related diseases.
Having spent a greater part of my child rearing years with a large Italian family, I became aware that Sunday Suppers, always included wine.
Even the kids table had a watered down wine at their seat; sorry I didn’t know this family when I was a kid!
I was a bit taken aback when I saw this, until I was in the kitchen and happened to see the children’s glasses being prepared; a glass of water, a drizzle of Chianti.
When I asked why, the answer was; ‘tradition’!
I guess it stemmed from bad water, many centuries ago, and like an ‘old wives tale’, it stuck.
Winter Spices In Sangria
Many cultures serve warm spiced wine drinks during the winter months, and the spices are an important aspect of this tradition.
What better way to boost your immune system in the winter months of colds and flu, than to bring these spices into foods and drinks.
Many cocktails start off with a simple syrup, a boiled mixture of sugar and water.
For this cocktail, the syrup is where the flavor and health benefits will come from, simmering apple cider with whole spices and a splash of honey.
My First Fruit Winter Sangria Cocktail
I must admit, my first glass of sangria, with all the luscious fruits, didn’t happen unto the late 90’s.
Having gone to a fabulous Spanish restaurant in Baltimore Maryland, for the best Paella I’d eaten in a restaurant.
Proudly I say that, because one of my sons makes the very, very best Paella I’ve ever had in my life!
Old World Pitchers Of Sangria
I happened to notice nearly every table had a huge ornate pitcher of sangria, loaded with fruit.
I felt sure that the ornate pitchers were hand painted in Portugal, wink! I had to have one.
I have to admit, if there is one really good reason to order a pitcher of winter sangria, other than the fact that it tastes fabulous, it’s because you can drink a whole lot more during the course of an evening without feeling over the top!
Kind of healthy, I guess!
Part of the food and dining experience is about the drink! While I can pop the cork on my favorite bottle of wine, I knew very little about cocktails.
I went to have my niece (a wedding planner), give me a few lessons on cocktails, what people like and why.
The first, so called, cocktail she wanted me to learn to make was Sangria with fruit. She said it lends itself to such a huge variety of additional liquors, fruits, herbs and spices that it should be the first cocktail a home cook would want experiment with.
She explained also that there are a variety of ways to make a sangria, for a variety of seasons; which lend to a lovely springtime White Wine Sangria Cocktail.
Serving Sangria As A Cocktail
While Sangria was originally prepared in beautiful over-sized handmade clay pitchers with traditional painting on the sides, we Americans seemed to have changed that.
In our quest to appear to live a casual lifestyle, we have started serving Sangria in oversized Mason Jars! Geez!
Just think, you can have a Mason Jar filled with an array of fruits and herbs, sip on it all day and no one will suspect ‘ya got booze’ in there!
- Red wine
- Apple cider
- Cinnamon stick
- Fresh ginger
- Star Anise
- Whole cloves
- Orange slices
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Stirring spoon
- Stovetop or burner
Winter Spiced Sangria Cocktail
- Small saucepan
- Large pitcher
- 2 Serving glasses
- 2 cups Red Wine favorite choice
- 3/4 cup Apple Cider homemade
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1 cup Apples thinly sliced, red and green
- 1/4 cup Brandy apple brandy is yummy
- 1 Orange in slices
- 1 cup Ice
- 3 Cinnamon sticks 2 are for garnish
- 2 Star anise pods
- 3 Whole cloves
- 1 inch Fresh ginger slice
- In a small saucepan, place apple cider, 1 cinnamon stick, remaining spices and honey. Bring to a simmer, turn off, cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Cool. Remove spices.
- In a large pitcher, place ice, wine, brandy and fruit, reserving a few oranges and cinnamon sticks for garnish. Stir.
- In large glasses, place an orange slice on the rim of the glass, 1 cinnamon stick each and pour the sangria in each glass. Serve. Allow pitcher to sit out room temp while sipping.