Winter Spice Sangria

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What do you get when you combine cider, red wine, and a healthy amount of brandy? One incredible batch of sangria. Full-bodied enough for these cold winter nights and packed with tons of citrus to fight off that lingering cold, you’ll want to mix up this bold boozy drink as soon as you get home.  Whole spices, along with lemon and orange zest, are steeped in rich apple cider to create a deeply-layered, flavorful base.  We love using small juice glasses with a coordinating carafe to keep the sangria flowing all evening long! Read on for the full recipe.

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When choosing a wine for your sangria opt for one that is under $10 a bottle. Tempranillo and other Spanish reds are usually a good bet, as is Zinfandel. You want to make sure the wine is fruit forward with hints of spice, so stay away from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot whose green bell pepper notes would fight the jammy flavors of this sangria.

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How To Make the Spiced Cider
2 cups best apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
Zest from one lemon
Zest from one orange

At least a day ahead of time, bring all of the ingredients to a simmer in a non-reactive pot. Remove from heat, strain, and chill thoroughly. Makes enough for one pitcher of sangria.

How To Make the Sangria
2 cups spiced cider
1 bottle of fruity red wine (see suggestions above)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1/2 cup brandy
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
2 apples, cubed

Stir all ingredients together in a pitcher, garnish with fruit and leave in fridge for flavors to meld at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Serve over ice and enjoy!