Ahh, December! This is the month most have been waiting all year long. The icy atmosphere is festive, fun, joyous and you want to be celebrating at home with your loved ones, probably in your onesie no doubt. For these cozy times, you need a recipe to match the mood. That’s where the hot, simmered sangria drink comes in. Steaming cups of hot red wine are very common in Christmas markets around Europe and it is very easy to make a homemade version of them as well.
When making a homemade hot sangria you can choose your favorite wine, spices, amount of added sugar and can also control exactly what is in your drink. If you’d like, you can make it ahead of time and keep a sangria pitcher in the fridge for when guests arrive. When you want a drink, just heat and pour.
The base of the drink is dry red wine. You can also make it with white wine but I think that white wine sangria is more of a summer drink than a winter one. To the wine, you add fruits usually citrus fruits, and spices to add more flavor to the drink. The common spices are cinnamon, anise stars and nutmeg. To include an alcoholic base, you just add brandy.
In order to keep the alcohol in the drink, you need to heat it gently and not boil it. Because there is sugar in the drink, it needs to dissolve in liquid before adding the wine so that you avoid overcooking the wine and losing the alcohol. I used water but you can also use orange juice or apple cider, both fit the drink since there is orange and apple in it.
I hope you enjoy this easy and fun hot sangria drink, here is the recipe:
Hot Sangria Drink
- 1 bottle of dry red wine
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup water OR orange juice OR apple cider
- ½ orange thinly sliced
- ½ apple cubed
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 whole anise stars
- ¼ cup brandy
- 1 cinnamon stick
- more cinnamon sticks
- Bring the water, sugar, fruits and spices to a boil in a medium sized pot.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes until all sugar is dissolved.
- Add the wine and brandy to the pot and continue cooking (but do not boil the drink) until it is hot. (if you boil the drink, the alcohol will be gone and it will be just a nice drink but not alcoholic).
- Ladle the drink into cups and garnish each cup with a cinnamon stick.
- Cheers and happy winter!