Spiced Cranberry Sangria

Spiced Cranberry Sangria 2

Do you want to know a secret?

The best place for cranberries at your Thanksgiving table isn’t in a sauce or baked into an overly sweetened dessert – it’s in your wine glass.

Cranberries are the feature ingredient in this festive sangria, bestowing some of their signature tartness to compliment to the warm, sugary notes of brandy. In turn, they absorb some of the sweetness from the other ingredients, making them palatable – dare I say enjoyable even – to eat themselves once you’ve finished your drink.

Set against a backdrop of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and orange, this sangria blends classic Spanish influences with holiday flavors for an unique, belly-warming beverage. And while cranberries are a Thanksgiving mainstay, this recipe would be equally suited for any wintertime holiday. Cheers!

p.s. When it comes to the cranberries, I have to put a plug in for Starvation Alley Farms. In addition to being locally owned by the wonderful Oakes family down in Long Beach, WA, they’re easily the best-tasting cranberries I’ve ever had.

Spiced Cranberry Sangria (serves 4)

Spiced Cranberry Sangria 1


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 package of mulling spices, or:
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2 whole nutmeg seeds, halved
    • 10-12 whole cloves
    • 1 one inch strips of orange peel
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 bottle of red wine (I recommend cabernet sauvignon)


  1. Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. Reduce the the temperature to low, add your mulling spices and continue to simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved and the liquid has turned a dark amber color, about 4 minutes.
  2. Pour the simple syrup and mulling spices into a large pitcher. Add the cranberries, brandy, and red wine and give everything a few good stirs to make sure it’s well mixed.
  3. Place the sangria in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. It can be served cold, or brought out an hour in advance to serve lightly chilled.

One Comment to “Spiced Cranberry Sangria”

  1. I’m going to have to try this. I love Sangria but never know how to make it holiday appropriate! Thanks for sharing!

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