This red winter sangria with pears & pomegranate arils is spiced, cozy, and easy to sip! With apples, blood oranges, brandy, and warm cinnamon, it has all of the best flavors of the season. Make this pitcher cocktail for parties, holidays, and girls’ night in!

Three glasses and a pitcher of red winter sangria with pears and pomegranate arils on a marble tray next to a glass of pomegranates, a plate of pears, a gold wreath, and gold candlesticks.

This past weekend, I got a tattoo with my grandma (she’s the coolest) and saw The Nutcracker with my mom, grandma, cousins, and aunts (two of my aunts even made the costumes this year!). Of course, we also sipped plenty of sangria while we snacked on potato chips and played cards way too late into the night.

Along with Norwegian gløgg and Cadillac cranberry margaritas, sangria is one of my go-to batch drinks for get-togethers around the holidays! You honestly can’t go wrong with an easy-drinking cocktail. Especially one with the bonus of a booze-soaked fruit snack.

This winter version is one of my favorites because it’s just as refreshing as summer sangrias but has seasonal fruit and cinnamon for a little festive warmth. Let’s mix some up and celebrate the season, shall we?

A lovely little winter cocktail

I’ve made this sangria dozens of times for parties and get-togethers and it’s always a huge hit! It’s based on the classic Spanish sangria that my family has been making for as long as I can remember, but it has a festive twist thanks to seasonal fruit and cinnamon.

  • This cocktail takes 15 minutes to whip up in a pitcher.
  • It’s easy to double or triple for a party or get-together.
  • The cocktail has all of the best seasonal fruit!
  • Serve it at holidays, dinner parties, girls’ nights, or happy hour at home.

Ingredient list

Glasses of brandy, orange liqueur, and simple syrup on a beige marble counter next to a bottle of red wine and white bowls of apples, pears, blood oranges, and pomegranate arils.
  • Apples – pick something crisp, sweet, and slightly tart like Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Gala.
  • Pears – any green pear like Bartlett or D’Anjou will taste great in this sangria.
  • Oranges – if they’re in season, blood orange sangria is so delicious! If not, cara cara or navel oranges are good too.
  • Pomegranates – the arils will add a sweet, tart, and syrupy flavor to the drink.
  • Cinnamon stick – for a little festive spice, we’ll add a whole cinnamon stick.
  • Simple syrup – I like simple syrup instead of sugar, because it makes for a smoother cocktail. You can use store-bought but homemade is so easy and affordable!
  • Orange liqueur – any orange liqueur like Triple Sec, Cointreau, or Curacao will add a hint of citrus flavor.
  • Brandy – a splash of brandy adds depth to the sangria and gives it an aromatic note.
  • Apple juice – look for 100% fresh-pressed apple juice in the refrigerated juice aisle. You don’t want to use the shelf-stable apple juice because it’s usually flavorless and too sweet.
  • Red wine – pick an affordable dry red wine, preferably from Spain. I like Tempranillo, Grenache, or Rioja.

Ingredient Variations

  • Fruit – any winter fruit will work in this cocktail. Try halved grapes, cranberries, grapefruit, figs, clementines, or Meyer lemons.
  • Spices – for extra spice, add a whole cardamom pod, star anise, or a whole clove.
  • Juice – freshly-squeezed orange juice is also amazing in this sangria.
  • Brandy – apple brandy would be amazing in this cocktail too.
  • Wine – if you can’t find Spanish wine, any fruity red wine will do. Pinot Noir, Malbec, or a dry red blend are all great options!
  • Less boozy – if you prefer a less boozy cocktail, you can always leave out the orange liqueur and/or brandy.
  • Less sweet – for a less sweet sangria, reduce the simple syrup or leave it out entirely.

How to make this cocktail

Three steps to making a wine cocktail. In photo 1, a pitcher is filled with fruit on a beige counter next to a bottle of wine and white and brown bowls. In photo 2, a cinnamon stick is in the pitcher. In photo 3, the pitcher has brandy, orange liqueur, and apple juice.
  1. First, add the sliced apples, pears, blood oranges, and pomegranate arils to a pitcher.
  2. Then, add a cinnamon stick to the fruit mixture.
  3. Pour simple syrup, orange liqueur, brandy, and apple juice into the pitcher.
Two steps to making red winter sangria with pears and pomegranate. In photo 1, a bottle of red wine is being poured into a pitcher on a beige counter next to brown bowls. In photo 2, a wood spoon is stirring the sangria.
  1. Pour a bottle of red wine into the pitcher.
  2. Use a wood spoon to mix the sangria together.
  3. Then, cover the pitcher and refrigerate the sangria for at least 2 hours. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Pro tip

I recommend letting the cocktail sit for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. The flavors need time to meld together. If you drink the sangria right away, it will taste a bit flat.

Garnish ideas

This apple spice sangria can be served chilled straight from the fridge or over ice. You can add garnishes if you like, but you totally don’t have to. Also, don’t forget some toothpicks or cocktail picks for serving. The boozy fruit is one of the best parts!

  • Garnish the cocktail with a sprig of rosemary for Christmas sangria vibes.
  • Add a cinnamon stick to the glass.
  • Dip the rim of the glass in cinnamon sugar.
  • Place slices of apples or pears on top.
  • Add an orange or lemon wedge to the sangria.

Storing & make-ahead

To store leftover sangria, cover the pitcher with a bowl cover or plastic wrap. Refrigerate the sangria for up to 2 days.

Since this cocktail needs to sit for several hours, it’s the perfect make-ahead cocktail too! Just mix up the sangria 1 day before serving and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to sip.

Quick tip

I don’t recommend refrigerating this cocktail for more than 2 days. If the sangria sits too long, the fruit will become mealy and the sangria will turn bitter.

A pitcher of Christmas sangria on a marble tray next to glasses, rosemary sprigs, a glass bowl of pomegranate arils, and a gold wreath with a beige marble background.
Two glasses and a pitcher of a wine cocktail on a marble tray next to rosemary, pomegranate arils, and gold holiday decorations with a marble background.

Serving ideas

Holiday sangria is lovely on its own but I really like eating it with snacks for a little at-home happy hour! Here are some of my favorites:

Helpful tools

A hand pouring a pitcher of red winter sangria into a glass on a gold marble tray next to glasses of sangria, a glass bowl of pomegranate arils, a gold wreath, and a glass plate of pears with a tan marble background.

Tips & tricks

  • Don’t worry about buying fancy wine since it’ll be mixed with juice and fruit. Save your good bottles for drinking on their own and choose a decent, but affordable, red wine instead.
  • If you’re serving a crowd, feel free to double or triple the recipe. It’s so pretty in a punch bowl if your pitcher isn’t large enough!
  • For a little fizz, try adding a splash of club soda or ginger beer. It’s not traditional by any means but it dilutes the cocktail just a bit and adds a little sparkle.
  • Feel free to chop the fruit instead of slicing. It doesn’t make a difference in terms of taste, of course, so it just depends on which style you like better!

Recipe FAQs

What wine should I use?

A fruity Spanish wine is most traditional, but any dry, fruity red wine will do! Here are a few of my go-tos:

  • Tempranillo
  • Grenache
  • Rioja
  • Pinot Noir
  • Malbec
  • Red blend

Should I make the sangria the night before?

I like making this red wine apple cider sangria the night before because it gives time for all of the flavors to infuse! You don’t have to make it the night before, but the sangria does need to sit for at least 2 hours.

What is the best fruit for sangria?

The best fruit is whatever is in season! You want the fruit to be nice and juicy or you’ll end up with flavorless sangria. In this recipe, I use pears, apples, pomegranate arils, and blood oranges. But use any winter fruit you like best!

Should red sangria be cold or room temperature?

I personally like red sangria chilled or served over ice. But, you can also serve it at room temperature if you prefer. It’s totally up to you!

How can I keep sangria chilled at a party?

You can always add ice to the pitcher, but it’s not my favorite because it’ll water down the sangria. Instead, I recommend freezing some extra fruit (apples, pears, oranges, and pomegranate arils) and adding it to the chilled sangria right before serving.

Three glasses and a pitcher of red winter sangria on a marble tray next to a glass bowl of pomegranate arils, gold wreath, and rosemary sprigs.

If you make this recipe, I would love it if you left a star rating and review! I read every single comment and love hearing what you think about my recipes. Thank you for supporting Sunday Table!


5 from 1 vote

Winter Sangria with Pears and Pomegranate

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
This red winter sangria has apples, pears, blood oranges, pomegranate arils, brandy, and warm cinnamon! The sangria is spiced, cozy, and absolutely delicious. It's a make-ahead pitcher drink that's perfect for parties, holidays, and girls' night in!

Ingredients

  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 blood orange, de-seeded & thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils (50 grams)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup (60 milliliters)
  • 1/3 cup orange liqueur, like Triple Sec or Cointreau (80 milliliters)
  • 1/3 cup brandy (80 milliliters)
  • 1 cup fresh-pressed apple juice (240 milliliters)
  • 1 bottle of fruity red wine (750 milliliters)
  • Rosemary sprigs, for garnish

Equipment

  • Pitcher
  • Wood or cocktail spoon
  • Wine glasses

Instructions 

  • In a pitcher, combine the apple slices, pear slices, blood orange slices, and pomegranate arils. Add the cinnamon stick.
  • Pour the simple syrup, orange liqueur, brandy, and apple juice over the fruit. Add the red wine. Give it a good stir. Then, cover the pitcher and refrigerate the sangria for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
  • Serve the sangria in wine glasses chilled or over ice. Gently roll a small sprig of rosemary in-between your hands to release the oils. Garnish the sangria with the rosemary. Enjoy!

Notes

I don’t recommend refrigerating this cocktail for more than 2 days. If the sangria sits too long, the fruit will become mealy and the sangria will turn bitter.
Don’t worry about buying fancy wine since it’ll be mixed with juice and fruit. Save your good bottles for drinking on their own and choose a decent, but affordable, red wine instead.
If you’re serving a crowd, feel free to double or triple the recipe. It’s so pretty in a punch bowl if your pitcher isn’t large enough!
For a little fizz, try adding a splash of club soda or ginger beer. It’s not traditional by any means but it dilutes the cocktail just a bit and adds a little sparkle.
Feel free to dice the fruit instead of slicing. It doesn’t make a difference in terms of taste, of course, so it just depends on which style you like better!
Cuisine: American
Course: Drinks
Serving: 1glass, Calories: 151kcal, Carbohydrates: 21.6g, Protein: 0.4g, Fat: 0.2g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 207mg, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugar: 16.7g, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @sundaytable.co on Instagram!

xo Sara Lynn

Song of the day – Christmas Memories by She & Him

Originally posted on December 20, 2019.