The sangria gets a fall makeover with this Cranberry Sangria recipe! Featuring rosé, tart apples, and just a touch of spice, this fall sangria is both refreshing and flavorful.
The beautiful thing about sangria is that it’s always in season. Keeping a rough formula in mind, you can always—and easily—whip up a sangria recipe that’s packed with seasonal ingredients and flavors. This fall-inspired sangria can easily be modified for each season, but before I go spouting off seasonal variations…let’s chat about this one!
This cranberry sangria recipe is made with both 100% cranberry juice and fresh cranberries. Why both? Well for starters, the juice is very important for flavor. It adds the more “cranberry” flavor to the sangria than the fresh cranberries do. And lastly, it adds great color to the whole mix.
So why even bother with fresh cranberries? Even though they don’t add a ton of flavor, they still add some. Additionally, they amp up the appearance of the cocktail and do a good job of “advertising” what is in the drink.
How to make a cranberry sangria
I like to think of all sangrias as a formula—not only does it make the process easier, but it surprisingly spurs me to think more creatively. I truly believe that when parameters are given, especially in cooking, it encourages us to think more creatively.
Classic components of a sangria:
- Wine (red, white or rosé—red wine is classic)
- Fruit and/or fruit juice
- Sweetener (optional but common)
- Liqueur or liquor (orange liqueur, brandy, cognac, vodka)
- Flavorings (herbs or spices)
The ultimate sangria formula:
- 1 (750-ml) bottle wine (red, white or rosé—red wine is classic)
- 2 cups fresh fruit
- ½ – 1 cup fruit juice (optional)
- ¼ – ¾ cup sweetener (optional but common)
- ¼ – ½ cup liqueur or liquor (orange liqueur, brandy, cognac, vodka)
- ¼ cup flavorings (herbs or spices)
Fall sangria for a crowd
Good news, this sangria is perfect for serving a crowd of friends or family! One batch serves eight, it’s super easy to double (or triple), and it can be made ahead of time!
Since sangria benefits from sitting for awhile, I actually recommend making it at least 30 minutes before you’re planning to serve it. I prefer to serve it within one day of making it, but it can be served up to three days after making it. Just keep in mind, the longer it sits, the stronger the flavors become.
Cranberry Sangria with vodka
Aside from being tart, cranberries have a relatively mild flavor. Because of that, I prefer using vodka over a liqueur in this sangria recipe. Vodka, as opposed to an orange or ginger liqueur, adds that quintessential heat without the strong, sweet flavor a liqueur would.
When choosing what kind of vodka to use, I recommend using plain or citrus-flavored.
More fall cocktails you might like…
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Featuring rosé, cranberries, tart apples, and just a touch of spice, this fall sangria is both refreshing and flavorful.
- 1 cup 100% cranberry juice (unsweetened)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 Granny Smith apples, diced, divided
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, halved, divided
- 1 bottle (750 mL) dry rosé wine
- ⅓ cup vodka
Combine cranberry juice, sugar, ginger and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring juice mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, and cook about 1 minute until sugar has dissolved. Off heat, stir in 1 diced apple and ½ cup cranberries; let cool completely.
Strain juice mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large pitcher. Add wine, vodka, remaining diced apple and remaining ½ cup halved cranberries; stir to combine.
Chill sangria until ready to serve. Serve cranberry sangria over ice.
- Serving Size: 1 cocktail
- Calories: 163
- Sugar: 17g
- Sodium: 9mg
- Fat: 0g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 20g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: Fall sangria, cranberry sangria, rosé sangria