This delicious and easy Thanksgiving sangria is made with red wine, apple brandy, cinnamon sticks and fresh fruits. It will become your go to cocktail every year for thanksgiving dinner.
This is the perfect cocktail for chilly weekends and holiday festivities. Each glass is bursting with fall flavors like cranberry, citrus, apple, and cinnamon. We love to top ours with bubbly ginger beer and a garnish of star anise and cinnamon sticks. This is the perfect thanksgiving cocktail if you like red wine.
Reasons to Love Thanksgiving Sangria
- It looks so pretty and is the most festive for the holiday season. It's so pretty I almost (almost!) didn’t want to drink it. The dark reddish purple color is so appealing, especially when you rim the glass with cinnamon sugar and garnish it with a cinnamon stick. Bonus points for cutting your apple and pears into fall shapes, like these leaves!
- Stir this Thanksgiving sangria recipe together in a few minutes.
- Save yourself time on Thanksgiving day and make this recipe ahead of time so you have a glass to hand to guests when they walk in.
- Easy to customize with whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand (see ingredient notes section below).
Here are the simple ingredients to make Thanksgiving sangria. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Red wine: traditional sangrias call for a Spanish red wine like a Tempranillo or Garnacho, however, we've tested this with other red wines, like a red blend or pinot noir and really loved it. Don't make a special trip for a special type of wine. All red wine will work, even sweet red wine. See FAQs below for a white wine option.
- Mix of fruit: we used orange slices, apple slices and pear slices because the apples and pears were perfect for the fun shapes. A few other fruit options include pomegranate seeds, fresh cranberries, and blood oranges.
- Apple cider: we love the cider in this for fall, but an apple juice would work too.
- Cranberry juice: we recommend a 100% cranberry juice rather than a cranberry juice cocktail.
- Brandy: apple brandy is great for fall sangria recipes, but triple sec, or another orange liqueur, is another great option.
- Spices: cinnamon sticks and star anise.
- Ginger beer or club soda for a little fizz.
- Cinnamon and white sugar for rimming the glass.
How to Make Thanksgiving Sangria
Here are the simple steps to make Thanksgiving Sangria (with photos). Jump down to the recipe card for the full printable recipe.
- Mix the wine: Pour the red wine, fruit juice, and brandy (or triple sec) into a large pitcher and stir quickly to combine.
- Slice the fruit: Cut fall shapes out of the apples and pears, if desired, then slices the oranges. Chill for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Mix sangria: Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, and sliced fruit to the sangria. Chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- Cinnamon sugar rim: Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Run an orange wedge around the outside of a wine glass. Dip the wine glass in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Serve: Fill the wine glass with ice then pour in the sangria.
- Garnish: Top with ginger beer and garnish with the wine-soaked fruit and a cinnamon stick.
Favorite Sangria Products
- We love this large pitcher for all of our holiday drinks (apple cider sangria and winter sangria are amazing!). You could also use a punch bowl.
- A stemless wine glass is perfect for coating in cinnamon sugar. These red wine glasses are so pretty (the ones we used in these pictures).
- Cocktail spoon stirring everything together.
- Mini fall cookie cutters to cut the fruit to make it even more festive.
Make it sweeter: simmer ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of granulated sugar in a small saucepan to create a simple syrup and mix it in with the sangria.
White sangria: Swap the red wine for a crisp white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.
More fruit: pomegranate seeds, fresh cranberries, or blood oranges.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best cocktails for Thanksgiving are ones that appeal to everyone and are easy to make for a crowd. This tasty beverage checks the boxes, but we've also got a list of the best Thanksgiving drinks.
A Spanish wine, like Tempranillo or Garnacha, are most popular for red wine sangria and crisp white wine, like Pinot Grigio, is great for white wine sangria. Although, I've made sangria with all types of wine and I wouldn't say any of them are bad!
The longer the fruit sits in the sangria, the longer the fruit juices will seep into the drink, and vice versa. Sangria should be chilled for at least 2 hours, but no more than 24 hours. This makes it great for making it overnight!
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Thanksgiving Drinks
- 20+ Best Thanksgiving Drinks (Cocktails)
- Maple Bourbon Smash
- Apple Cider Sangria
- Spiced Winter Sangria
- Cranberry Moscow Mule
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 3 honeycrisp apples sliced or cut into fall shapes
- 2 oranges sliced
- 2 cups pears sliced or cut into fall shapes
- 1 750mL red wine
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup 100% cranberry juice
- ½ cup apple bourbon or orange liqueur
- Ginger beer or soda water, for topping
- Cinnamon sugar rim: ¼ cup sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Wine glasses
- Fall cookie cutters optional
- Pour the red wine, fruit juice, and brandy (or triple sec) into a large pitcher and stir quickly to combine.
- Cut fall shapes out of the apples and pears, if desired, then slices the oranges. Add the sliced fruit, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to the sangria. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
- When you're ready to serve, make the cinnamon sugar rim. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Run an orange wedge around the outside of a wine glass. Dip the wine glass in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Fill the wine glass with ice then pour in the sangria. Top with ginger beer and garnish with wine-soaked fruit and a cinnamon stick.
Can I use apple juice instead of apple cider?
Molly Leonard says
Hi Dani! Absolutely, apple juice will work perfect as well. Thanks!
Thanks so much! I'm excited to try this!
did you use lemon or lime juice? the ingredients same lemon- the directions say lime.
Molly Leonard says
Hi Kim! Sorry about that, typo!. I used lemon juice here, but lime juice actually works well too. I've tried both ways:) So either one you have on hand is great.
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