Festive Fall Sangria Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

Because I’m lucky enough to have been invited to a Southern Soul Food themed potluck I won’t be cooking the entire Thanksgiving meal this year – I’ve been assigned to dessert (Sweet Potato Bourbon Bundt Cake) and a side (Classic Collard Greens). I’ll also be making a Festive Fall Sangria as a treat for my hosts.

You know that mulled wine, a spiced wine usually served warm, is a popular drink during the brisk fall and frigid winter months. Sangria, a fruit-studded, sweetened, sometimes carbonated, typically red wine punch is most commonly associated with the summer months. The following recipe is a combination of the two and should be served at room temperature.  This recipe weds fruity red wine that has been spiced with the holiday flavor of cloves, the sweet spiciness of cinnamon and the pine-minty flavor of cardamom, while a dash of sugar, cranberry and orange juice take off the bitter edge. This is a incredibly drinkable and affordable holiday punch, perfect for a Thanksgiving Dinner!

Do you have a favorite fall beverage or cocktail? Let us know!


Spiced Wine Base

1 750ml. bottle smooth, fruity red wine(like Carlo Rossi Paisano, if you purchased a jug measure a scant 3 1/4 cups)

1 teaspoon whole cloves

5 cinnamon sticks

5 green cardamom pods

Juice Mixer

1 cup strong pomegranate or berry infused black tea (2 tea bags in 1 cup water)

2 tbsp sugar

1 small clementine or tangerine(garnish, optional)

1 pomegranate(garnish, optional)


Photo: Alex Uballez

1. Between 48 and 24 hours before serving the Sangria, open the bottle of wine and add cloves, cinnamon and cardamom pods. Close the bottle.

*tip: slightly crush the cardamom pods so the seeds inside are exposed but contained. The pod should be cracked but still intact.

2. Once the wine has marinated for at least 24 hours but no more than 48 hours (you want to drink wine not vinegar!) strain the spices from the wine. Save the cinnamon sticks for garnish, discard the cloves and cardamom.

3. Add the orange juice, cranberry juice, prepared tea and sugar.

*tip: dissolve sugar in hot tea to uniformly and smoothly sweeten the Sangria.

4. (Optional) Serve in a punch bowl garnished with floating slices of tangerines or clementines, pomegranate seeds and cinnamon sticks. Or serve in wine glasses with one floating slice of citrus, a cinnamon stick and some pomegranate seeds.

*tip: pomegranate are easily deseeded in a large bowl filled with water. Simply immerse the open pomegranate as you remove the seeds.

Photo: Alex Uballez