Sangria is one of my favorite warm-weather drinks, but with a few additional, seasonal ingredients and holiday spices, you can turn a summer staple into a simple holiday favorite.
To stay within your holiday budget while maintaining high quality, opt for an inexpensive Tetra-Pak carton of CalNaturale cabernet sauvignon. It's a rich, full-bodied red made with organically grown grapes from the Pasos Robles Appellation.
At $12.99 a carton, it's a reasonably-priced wine made from organic grapes that's great for drinking on its own or using as a base for holiday sangria.
What I love about sangria is that it's such a customizable drink that can take different forms depending on the ingredients you like. Pomegranate seeds or juice are great for winter sangria and offer a little extra texture and flavor.
Choose your favorite fruits (think raspberries, strawberries, pineapples, apples, oranges, mangoes, peaches, pears) and juices to combine with your wine and throw a few dashes of holiday spices in to set the holiday mood inside your glass of goodness.
Here's how I make my holiday sangria.
Simple Homemade Holiday Sangria
1 liter CalNaturale cabernet sauvignon
1/2 cup organic pomegranate seeds (or substitute splash of pomegranate juice)
1 organic navel orange, halved and slice
1 organic Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced into wedges
1 1/2 tablespoons pure organic maple syrup
3 cups seltzer, chilled
1 cup ginger ale, chilled
2 tablespoons organic sugar
Splash of organic orange juice
Dash of cinnamon (optional)
In a pitcher, combine the wine, orange juice, pomegranate seeds, orange, apple and maple syrup; refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. Stir in the seltzer and ginger ale. Serve over ice.
What drinks do you serve during the holidays? Tell me (or link me to) your recipes in the comments section.
Freelance writer and editor Kim Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org