Nothing says holiday season quite like a themed and color-appropriate cocktail. How else will we get through endless hours of small-talk? Drinks. Stressing about all of the shopping and wrapping that needs to be done? Drinks. Need no excuse? Drinks. And with all these cheers, cranberry cocktails and champagne or eggnog get quite redundant after a couple of times. To switch it up, a light and fruity fall sangria will keep you feeling good without getting overly full and keep you feeling social all evening long.
The best thing about sangria is you can make a big batch of it ahead of time to allow your guests to self-serve. The longer it sits in the fridge, the better it gets! It’s also entirely versatile and adjustable—fancy merlot more than cab or cranberries over pomegranates? The choice is yours. But to make it a little easier here’s an amazing fall sangria that you can either copy or adjust to make your own by switching out some fruits and spices.
Combine one bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (doesn’t have to be too fancy so any need to blow your budget) with two cups of spiced apple cider and 1/3 cup of brandy—the flavor choice is entirely up to you, pear, peach, berry… whatever feels right! A couple of dashes of bitters and three tablespoons of simple syrup and your liquid is set! Cover and rest in the fridge until it’s ready to be served.
Now to prep your fruits. Cut, core, and slice two Gala apples and one Granny Smith apple. I prefer one-inch chunks or ½-inch thick slices. Core and slice two pears and peel and section an orange. Combine fruit with liquid mixture and add in two sticks of cinnamon, cloves, and allspice to taste.
For garnish, use a toothpick as a miniature skewer and push red grapes, cranberries, mint leaves or berries onto the skewer and lay on top of an ice-filled glass. Pour to the brim and enjoy it!