With tart cranberries, mulling spices, red wine, and liquor, this mulled red wine sangria is served on ice and sure to be a new winter favorite!
Last Christmas, we were invited to a neighborhood brunch and I was asked to bring a cocktail to share. My sister makes the best drinks in the world, and she gave me her recipe for this mulled red wine sangria.
At the brunch, everyone was walking around with these adorable and festive drinks and I got many requests for the recipe before the morning was over.
This is served chilled, highlighting the tart cranberries along with the same flavors and spices I love about a warm mulled wine.
Along with the spices and berries, this has the holiday combination of Cointreau and brandy. With the celebratory flavors of fresh cranberry, this mulled red wine sangria is perfect for get-togethers, celebrations, and evenings in front of the fire.
What is mulled wine sangria?
Though it is now associated with Christmas, The Romans were the first people to document warming their wine for the Winter months. Alternatively, Sangria is served chilled, and includes chopped fruit and additional spirits. This recipe is the best of both worlds! I am usually hesitant for sweeter wines and drinks, but this mulled red wine sangria is balanced thanks to the tartness of the cranberries and plenty of mulling spices.
All we need for this is cranberries, cranberry juice, brown sugar, mulling spices, orange peel, and the liquor (brandy and cointreau).
Rosemary sprigs, more fresh cranberries, and orange slices are my preferred garnishes to have on hand. Oh! And lots of ice!
Wine: The wine choice will make a huge difference in the sweetness of this drink. For me, there is nothing worse than a headache from a cocktail or wine, so I prefer a pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon, which have less sugar to begin with. Mid-shelf and blends are more affordable and work well here!
Mulling Spices: This is also dependent upon preference, but there are some usual suspects in these blends. Often, this includes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. You can buy pre-packaged spice blends, or make your own mix at home (I like this one from Spruce Eats!).
How to Make // The Steps
The process for this mulled red wine sangria is relatively straight forward. We are basically mulling wine, but rather than serving it as-is, we chill and add our spirits before serving. I prefer to make this ahead of time and chill overnight.
- First, gather your cranberry juice, cranberries, brown sugar, mulling spices, and orange peel.
- Add them all to a saucepan on medium-low, and cook until the brown sugar has dissolved completely. Set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, pour the spices and fruits into a large pitcher or bowl.
- Add your red wine, Cointreau, and brandy.
- Chill completely and serve over ice with garnishes.
What makes this mulled wine sangria so good?
This drink blew my mind when I first had it, since mulled wine and sangria seem like opposites but I can’t believe I haven’t done it earlier. I love this because:
- Since it is chilled, the drink is more refreshing than cozy, so it pairs far better with appetizers and full meals.
- Easily serves a big crowd at a brunch, celebration, or open house.
- It can be made ahead, and kept in the fridge until ready.
Serving Ideas //
- I use rosemary sprigs, orange slices, and fresh cranberries as a garnish.
- Since the color of this mulled red wine sangria is so gorgeous, I like to serve it in a clear glass or mason jar!
- If serving this at events or gatherings with lots of folks, using some fun drink markers is always a hit. I love using these, and they’re a great conversation starter!
- To include any kids or non-drinkers in the mix, you can add sparkling cider instead of wine and liquor after the first step.
More Holiday Cocktail Recipes //
- German Mulled White Wine
- Poinsettia Cocktails
- Blood Orange and Amaretto Cocktails
- Traditional Glogg (Mulled Wine)
- Warm Cranberry Cuddle