Cranberry Rose Sangria

xmas sangria 1

Joy to the World…the wine is here! Is there anything better than sippin’ on wine during the Holidays? Let me one-up your typical glass of wine and bring you the glory that is Cranberry Rose Sangria. I’ve made this little creation the last couple of years for our annual Holiday Party and it’s not only a major hit, but it’s freaking delicious. I’ve coined the term, “Jingle Juice” to intrigue my guests…

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Sangria can notoriously be too sweet, and that sugar-filled hangover the next day will turn any sangria-lover away. My particular recipe doesn’t involve any brandy, and the homemade cranberry simple syrup is a perfect addition to make this sangria delicious, light on the sugar-load, and easy to make!


Sangria is my favorite kind of drink to make; it’s similar to the Crockpot theory where you can just dump everything into a jar and you’re DONE. There’s something oddly satisfying about dumping a bunch of bottles of wine into a giant jug, isn’t there?

The only major prep for this drink is to cut up a couple apples and make the simple syrup, which is true to the name: simple.

What you’ll need

  • Any kind of jug to put your cocktail in.
  • 1 small saucepan.
  • 1 small bowl.
  • 1 strainer.
  • 12 oz of fresh cranberries (only 1 cup will be used for the simple syrup).
  • 1 cup of sugar.
  • 1 cup of water.
  • 2 red apples.
  • 1 1/2 cups of unfiltered apple cider.
  • 3-4 bottles of Rose.

Total Prep Time: 20 minutes.


Simple Syrup

First things first, make your simple syrup. This can be done ahead of time, which I would recommend, because it will need to cool before you add to the sangria mix.

  • Combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of cranberries to your small saucepan.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil (on medium heat). Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to simmer.
  • Let simmer for 10-15 minutes–you should be able to easily take a spoon and squeeze the cranberries to the side of the saucepan to release the juices.
  • Once the syrup has cooled, place your strainer over your small bowl and pour the contents of the syrup through. I’ll typically use a spoon and press the cranberries down in the strainer to get as much liquid out as possible.
  • Set aside. **If you’re making ahead of time, you can refrigerate until you’re ready to use.


  • Cut your 2 small apples into cubes, discard the seeds and the core.
  • Add the rest of the fresh cranberries and the cubed apples to the Sangria jar.
  • Add the 1 1/2 cup of apple cider into the jar.
  • Add the 3-4 bottles of wine.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the simple syrup. This is where you can “doctor” this to your liking! If you want it to be more sweet, add as much simple syrup as you’d like. I found that 1/4-1/3 cup of the syrup was perfection.

Cheers, Grinches!

xmas sangria square


  • I had mixed reviews from my guests on whether or not they liked this sangria over ice. I NEED a cold sangria, so I had a mini ice “bucket” next to the jar so people could add ice if they wanted to. I’d recommend this option since the sangria won’t be chilled.
  • You can make this ahead of time! Keep in mind that the apples will expand in the liquid over time–I’d recommend making this no more than 24 hours in advance.
  • I’m picky about leftovers, so I wouldn’t keep any extra at the end of the night BUT you can always place the leftovers (if there are any….) in an airtight container and stick it in the fridge for up to 2 days.




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