Sangria is such a great party drink. It’s easy enough to whip together, a large batch serves a large crowd, and it’s best made a few hours before the party (so all the flavours can mingle) so you can spend the hours leading up to the party doing more important things, like prepping appetizers or tidying your kitchen.
There are so many variations of sangria, but the base is always the same: a punch made with wine and fruit. You can use red wine, you can use white, you can use fruit juice, fresh fruit, or add additional alcohol like brandy. Whatever your method, your guests will surely approve.
I’ve strayed from a traditional sangria here, using a light rosé wine as the base. This allows the fruity flavours to shine, and yields a much lighter drink that won’t redden your cheeks (thanks, red wine) or go immediately straight to your head.
- A light, fruity rosé as the base
- Pomegranate juice, for a but of tang to balance out the sweet
- Orange flavoured liqueur, for a bit of kick
- A winter-spiced simple syrup infused with cinnamon, cloves, and orange
- Club soda, to taste, to lighten the drink and make it bubbly
- Sliced fruit, of course, for an edible treat
For this recipe, I like to use a combination of sliced oranges, pears, apples, and pomegranate arils, but you can use whatever fruit you have on hand.
The club soda is optional; while the sangria is tasty on it’s own, the added bubbly gives a refreshing twist, and lightens the drink enough that you can drink a few glasses without it going right to your head.
The shining star in this sangria is the spiced simple syrup, which gives the drink a subtle, but not overpowering cinnamon taste. It’s an odd combination, but it works. The sweet balances out the tart, which balances out the spice. I use all the simple syrup, but feel free to add it to taste. You may only prefer to use half, it just depends on how strong you like your cinnamon!
In a surprising twist, this actually freezes really well. I made this on a Monday to stage and take photographs, but I had a party planned for the weekend. Rather than let it go to waste, I tossed it in a freezer bag and froze it for the week. The night before the party, I let it thaw and it was ready to drink.
If freezing your sangria before the party, leave out the fruit and club soda, and add them only when you’re ready to serve for optimal freshness.
If freezing after your party (perhaps you have leftovers? The chances are slim, but just in case), remove the fruit and freeze what’s left.
|Winter-Spiced Pomegranate Sangria|| |
- Spiced Simple Syrup:
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Pinch of whole cloves
- 1 thin orange slice
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 bottle of rosé wine
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- ½ cup brandy
- Arils from 1 pomegranate
- 1 pear, seeded and sliced
- 1 orange, sliced
- Club soda, to taste
- In a small saucepan, combine the spiced simple syrup ingredients and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain; set aside.
- In a large pitcher, combine rosé, pomegranate juice, brandy, prepared simple syrup (to taste), pomegranate arils, pear slices, and orange slices.
- Serve topped with club soda, to taste.