There is a sangria for every occasion and this Christmas sangria is a delightful mix for the holidays. Filled with the best fruits of the season, it's a festive white wine punch with layers of flavor, including a hint of spice.
The Christmas sangria recipe begins with slices of fresh, juicy pears, cranberries, and pomegranate arils. The seasonal fruits add a sweet, tart taste to the white wine, pear brandy, and white cranberry juice base. To give the sangria a warm spice, it's topped off with ginger beer.
Like any sangria, every element of this recipe can be customized as you see fit. You might want to use more or less fruit, make it a little sweeter, or switch to a softer sparkler. With a few small changes, it works with red wine as well. Have fun with it and enjoy sharing it during the holidays.
Gather the ingredients.
Rinse the pears and slice them thinly, removing the seeds and stems. Squeeze lemon juice over the pear flesh to prevent oxidation, which turns them brown.
In a large pitcher, add the pear slices, cranberries, and pomegranate arils.
In a separate pitcher or bowl, combine the wine, brandy, and cranberry juice. Taste mixture and add the sugar for a sweeter base, if desired, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the wine mixture over the fruits. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, though overnight is best to let the flavors meld.
When it's time to serve, add the ginger beer to the pitcher, starting with 12 ounces and adding more to taste. Stir well after each addition.
Pour the sangria into glasses to serve, garnishing each with a sprig of rosemary and more fruits, if desired. Enjoy.
- Choose a dry white wine such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc for a balanced flavor.
- Removing the arils from a pomegranate can be messy. Work over a plate or bowl rather than a cutting board because the juicy seeds can stain wood and other porous materials. Many grocery stores sell just the arils on their own, too—saving you the work.
- Some ginger beer is very spicy. Taste the sangria as you add it to find a good balance of flavor.
- A sweet white wine will work well in this sangria, but you'll definitely want to skip the sugar.
- If you prefer a softer profile, use ginger ale, club soda, or sparkling white wine as a substitute for the ginger beer. You can also use a combination of ginger beer and soda water.
- It's easy to transform this into a red wine sangria: Choose your favorite dry red wine, switch to red pears and cranberry juice, and pour a regular brandy (apricot brandy is fun, too). Instead of ginger beer, use ginger ale or club soda.
What Is Sangria Typically Made Of?
Sangria is a wine punch with Spanish origins. It can be traced back 2,000 years when Romans first arrived on the Iberian Peninsula and the area's now-famous vineyards were planted. Though there is no single sangria recipe or rules to follow, most use a basic formula: A dry wine base accented with liquor (often brandy) and adorned with lots of seasonal fruits.
Red wine sangrias are the most traditional, though white and rosé wines make excellent sangrias as well. Many recipes also include sugar, although juices, liqueurs, and syrups can be used to sweeten instead. Sangrias can be still or given a little sparkle with soda or wine and rum is a popular alternative liquor.
What Are the Juiciest Pears?
As this sangria rests in the fridge the fruits add their flavor to the wine punch. While you can use any pear, the juicier varieties will contribute more flavor. For green pears, Anjou, Bartlett, Comice, and Concorde are excellent choices. Both Anjou and Bartlett are cultivated as red pears as well. To offset the tartness of the cranberries, the top picks for the Christmas sangria are Bartlett and Concorde pears because they are as sweet as they are juicy.
How Strong Is the Christmas Sangria?
Estimating the alcohol content of sangria is always tricky because there are many variables involved. On average, it's going to be a little lighter than the wine you pour. This recipe, for example, mixes up to 8 percent ABV (16 proof) when made with a 12 percent ABV white wine.