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Looking for a holiday drink that is bubbly and pretty? Try our winter sangria. It's festive, stuffed with delicious fruit, and is non alcoholic so everyone can enjoy this family friendly party drink.
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What is winter sangria?
Sangria is a Spanish punch that has been steeped with an assortment of fresh fruit. The purpose is twofold: the fruits both flavor the drink and soak up the liquids to make them plump and juicy. The color of a traditional sangria is a dark, slightly purplish red.
What makes up a winter sangria mocktail?
- Fresh Fruit: thinly sliced or diced
- Black Tea: decaf or caffeinated tea with citrus or spice notes
- Juices: cranberry, orange, pomegranate, or apple
- Sweetener: sugar, honey, agave, or simple syrup
- Spices: cinnamon sticks
- Carbonated Drinks: sparkling grape juice, sparkling cider, sparkling flavored water, or ginger ale
- Garnish: cranberries, sprig of rosemary, anise stars, or cinnamon stick
What fruits should I add?
Traditionally fresh sliced fruit is added to sangria, but you can also bake the sliced fruit at 400 F for 30 to 40 minutes to get it caramelized.
- Citrus: oranges, lemons, limes
- Apples: green or red
- Pears: green or red
- Plums: red
- Grapes: green
- Berries: cranberries or pomegranate seeds
Why do you use black tea?
Brewed black tea contains tannin, which gives the sangria a woodsy and slightly bitter flavor, mimicking the red wine that has been omitted. For this recipe, I used Bigelow’s Constant Comment since it has notes of orange and sweet spices.
What should I make this in?
You can make sangria in several different containers. Choose one made from glass or sturdy clear plastic, so the layered fruit can be seen. For smaller gatherings, use the traditional punch bowl or glass pitcher; for large gatherings, use a drink dispenser.
How long do you soak fruit?
Honestly, the longer the better. Since the fruit will add flavor to the drink, it’s best to let it soak for a minimum of 4 to 24 hours. Cover the pitcher and place it in the fridge. If you live where it’s cold, cover it and place it in your garage.
Should I add ice to the drink dispenser?
If you plan on serving the winter sangria in a drink dispenser, adding frozen soaked fruit would help chill the sangria without diluting it like ice would.
What temperature should I serve it?
The sangria should be served chilled or at room temperature. You can pour the sangria over ice if you want it chilled, or leave it out for a room temperature drink.
How should the sangria be served?
Sangria looks the best when it is served in a wine glass with a decorated rim. Carefully add the soaked fruit to each glass, then pour the sangria on top. For a more formal event, the soaked fruit can be cut up and placed on metal or bamboo skewers for the guests to enjoy.
Can you make it ahead?
Yes, this drink is perfect for people who love to make things ahead of time. The majority of the drink can be made the night before; just add the carbonated grape juice right before serving.
What glassware is best?
For kids at a casual house party, use sturdy mason jars. Adults can use stemless wine glasses. Decorate the rims ahead of time to save you time at the party.
How do you garnish the rim?
Dip the rim of the glass in light corn syrup, then in demerara sugar. You can also try dipping the glasses in shredded coconut to make it look like snow.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients. Measure out the cranberry and orange juice, filtered water, and sugar. Wash and thinly slice the oranges, lemons, and apples.
Start by layering the fruit into a glass pitcher.
Add two black tea bags and pour boiling water over them.
Let the tea steep for 5 minutes before removing the tea bags.
Add ¼ cup of white sugar to sweeten the black tea just a bit.
Gently stir the sugar into the hot tea so it will dissolve.
Pour in the cranberry juice.
Next, pour in the orange juice.
Stir it with a large spoon to mix the tea with the two fruit juices.
Add one cinnamon stick for additional flavor. Cover the glass pitcher with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours. For these photos, I let the fruit soak for 24 hours.
Here's what the sangria looks like after 24 hours of soaking.
For a pretty look, decorate the rims of the stemless wine glasses by dipping the rim in corn syrup, then into demerara sugar.
You can decorate all the glass rims before the guests arrive, or you can provide a sample glass and let your guests do their own. For this picture, we used 17 ounce stemless wine glasses.
When ready to serve, pour in the chilled sparkling grape juice so the glass is ¼ full.
Remove the soaked fruit from the glass pitcher and place it in a glass bowl with a large serving spoon. Pour in the chilled sangria mixture so the glass is ¾ full and stir.
For a small dinner party, add the soaked fruit by hand, so the drink is packed with luscious fruit. For a larger party, ladle in the fruit or cut up the soaked fruit and place on skewers to place in the drink.
Top up the glass with more sangria mixture, so the glass is full.
Garnish with a few extra cranberries and enjoy.
- Want to add a twist to the fruit? Caramelize it first by baking in a 400 F oven for 30-40 minutes.
- Want other garnishes? Use rosemary sprigs dusted in sugar or anise stars.
- Don't be in a hurry. Make the sangria mixture ahead of time, at least 4 to 24 hours.
- Like bubbles? Add the sparkling grape juice just before serving for the most bubbles.
- Want it to look pretty? Decorate the rim of the glass for a more sparkle.
- Want to have a good night's sleep? Use decaf black tea if serving later in the evening. Your guests will thank you.
- Constant Comment Tea: black tea that is flavored with orange rind and sweet spices.
- Glass Pitcher: this glass pitcher is wonderful for serving chilled fruit drinks, sweet tea and lemonades.
- Electric Kettle: want a hot drink fast? Fill it up and plug this kettle in for convenient boiling water.
- 4-Cup Measuring Cup: this glass measuring cup is a work horse.
- Large Metal Spoons: pretty and functional. Great for stirring beverages and serving.
Check out this other delicious winter drink.
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Non alcoholic winter sangria is an easy recipe to serve at your next holiday party. This drink is simple to make ahead and can be made in a pitcher or a punch bowl. It's simple to make a big batch for kids or for a crowd at Christmas or New Year's Eve.
For the Sangria
- 2 cups boiling water (240 ml)
- 2 tea bags
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50g)
- 1 cup pulp free orange juice (240 ml)
- 3 cups unsweetened cranberry juice (715 ml)
- 2 oranges, sliced
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 2 Granny Smith apples, sliced
- ½ cup cranberries, plus more for garnish
- 2 ½ cups Welch's sparkling red grape juice (600 ml)
- 1 cinnamon stick
For Decorating the Rims
- ¼ cup light corn syrup (60 ml)
- ¼ cup demerara sugar (48g)
Making Sangria in a Pitcher
- Layer the sliced fruit and cranberries in your glass pitcher.
- Put two black tea bags on top of the fruit and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. Let the tea steep for 5 minutes, making sure the tea bags are submerged in the water. Remove the tea bags and mix in the sugar.
- Mix in the cranberry and orange juice and add the cinnamon stick.
- Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the better the drink will taste.
- Remove the fruit from the pitcher and place in a large bowl. Discard the cinnamon stick.
- Decorate the rims of the glasses according to the directions below.
- Just before serving, fill a 17-ounce stemless wine glass ¼ full with sparkling grape juice. Next, fill the glass ⅔ full with the sangria mixture. Gently stir, then add the soaked fruit. Top up with more sangria mixture and a few more cranberries.
Making Sangria in a Punch Bowl
- Follow steps 1 to 4 from above.
- Just before serving, pour the sangria mixture and the soaked fruit into a punch bowl, then stir in the sparkling grape juice. You want the ratio to be ¾ sangria mixture to ¼ sparkling grape juice, because the grape juice will over power the drink if it is increased.
- Float cranberries, star anise, or slices of fruit in the punch bowl.
Decorating the Rims of the Glasses
- Carefully dip the rim of the glass in the corn syrup, then in the demerara sugar. If there is too much corn syrup applied, it will start to drip down the glass.
- Feel free to dip the rims of the glasses ahead of time, or put out the corn syrup and demerara sugar on small plates for guests to dip their own glasses.
- Make the drink mixture ahead of time, at least 4 to 24 hours, so don't be in a rush.
- Add the sparkling grape juice just before serving for the most bubbles and the prettiest drink.
- Use decaf black tea if serving later in the evening so it doesn't keep them awake. Your guests will thank you.
- Category: Beverage
- Method: Mixed
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: non alcoholic sangria with sparkling grape juice, traditional sangria recipe nonalcoholic