Winter Sangria with Cranberries & Rosemary

I know sangria seems like a summer drink, and should be consumed by the pitcher-full on the porch with your feet up on the railings while shooing away mosquitoes (or as long as we’re fantasizing our way out of winter, might as well go all out and picture ourselves on a beach in Majorca instead of my porch in Duxbury, right?)

We had our company Christmas party last week, and since it certainly doesn’t feel much like a New England December these days, I thought I could get away with a festive sangria and found the perfect one here!  Yeah, it’s sweet and refreshing, but it’s also so festive and holiday-ey (?!?!?!) with those bright red cranberries and chunks of Granny Smith apples floating in each glass. And the sugared sprigs of rosemary really were the perfect winter garnish.  Best part? Everybody loved it!  The male and female guests alike all oohed and aahed and had seconds and thirds.  And if you eat all the fruit in your glass, it fills you up on healthy fruit so you eat less chips and guac! That was my theory anyway… but the guacamole was reallllllyyy good.

So go make this for all your gatherings over the next few weeks! It’s embarrassingly easy and looks really impressive so Win/Win:

Winter Sangria with Cranberries & Rosemary


1 Granny Smith Apple

1 Braeburn Apple

1 heaping cup of fresh cranberries

1 large sprig of fresh rosemary for the sangria and a bunch more for garnishing

1 bottle of Pinot Grigio (the better the wine, the better the sangria)

1/2 cup of white grape juice

1/4 cup of sugar (more for garnish)

1/2 cup of brandy (optional- I used this crazy Armagnac someone gave us that must have been about 200 proof but it was lovely)

1 can club soda


Chop the apples into bite sized pieces

Mix everything else together in a pretty pitcher, except the club soda

Chill for a few hours in the fridge to let the rosemary infuse the sangria (I made mine the night before the party so it was in the fridge for at least 24 hours, with no ill effects whatsoever!)

Make the rosemary garnishes by lightly moistening each rosemary sprig with water and then shaking in a shallow bowl of granulated sugar

Add the club soda to the pitcher right before serving, or do what I did and top everybody’s glass up with soda as you pour each serving

Make sure to give everybody lots of fruit! Cranberries are loaded with Vitamin C!

Garnish each glass with a sugared rosemary sprig

Make merry!

Just one thing in closing: This recipe does not, I repeat, NOT make enough for anything I would call a party. I tripled it for 15 guests. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Posted by Erika Stern