If you are going to spend hours planning and cooking a delicious holiday menu, then you should also have a great cocktail to go with it! The hardest part of this whole recipe is waiting for the cranberry simple syrup to set. The apple brandy is so delicious for sangria recipes. I tend to avoid sweeter wines, but I did not think this was too sweet at all. Make sure you have plenty of ice and even more important, make sure you prepare a double batch.
Yields 8-10 servings
For the Cranberry Simple Syrup:
12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
*If preparing the cranberry simple syrup, I suggest making this at least 2 to 3 days ahead for more flavor
For the Sugared Cranberries:
1 cup cranberries from making simple syrup, drained
1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar
You Will Also Need:
0.75 liter of a dry red wine (I used a cabernet sauvignon)
1 full cup of apple flavored brandy
Juice of 2 oranges, plus one more for slicing
1 liter Cranberry Lime Seltzer water
1 green apple
1 red apple
Cinnamon sticks for garnish, optional
Tips~ I absolutely love these sugared cranberries. They make a great little holiday treat.
The sugar hardens and becomes crispy and is very tasty with the tart cranberry.
1. With a small knife, carefully pierce each cranberry. This will help flavor the simple syrup more. Add the cranberries, 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups water into a sauce pan. Heat to medium and cook just until sugar has dissolved. Let cool at room temperature. Place in an airtight storage container and chill for up to 3 days.
2. When ready, use a slotted spoon to remove 1 cup of cranberries from simple syrup. Place in a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Toss in 1/3 to 1/2 of granulated sugar until evenly coated. Let dry at room temperature.
3. While cranberries dry, prepare the fruit. Slice fruit thin and into bite size pieces. Remove all the seeds from pomegranate. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the apples so they don’t turn brown.
4. Once sugared cranberries are dry, mix the sangria. In a large pitcher, mix the whole bottle of wine with 1 cup apple brandy, 1 cup simple syrup, juice of 2 oranges and half of the fruit, including some of the cranberries from simple syrup. Chill for a few hours or overnight. To serve, add some of reserved fruit to the bottom of drinking glasses. Add ice, pour in 1/4 to 1/3 cup of seltzer, then top off with sangria. Garnish with sugared cranberries, orange slice, pomegranate and cinnamon stick. The pitcher full is about 48 ounces, but if you add the seltzer, it goes a little further. Yields 8 to 10 servings.
Tips~ If you did not have time to wait for the simple syrup, you could add a sweetened cranberry juice instead of the simple syrup.
How much you add would depend on how sweet you like it. You could also use a sweet red wine instead of a dry red wine.