mulled sangria

Cocktail Time -> Mulled Winter Sangria

styling by jennifer oatsvall | photo by    alyssa joy photography

styling by jennifer oatsvall | photo by alyssa joy photography

If you desire a warm hug in a glass in cold, wet weather as much as I do, you are in luck. Last week the weather was so gross day of our Christmas party and I really wanted a warm drink that was comforting and felt cheerful. I flipped through many a cider and mulled wine recipe but nothing jumped out at me because what I really wanted was sangria. It’s my favorite party drink because wine and fruit and you mix it up in a pitcher and forget about it. But it’s also cold. And it was cold outside. And raining. So I thought I’d try my hand at a warm version. I’ll be honest, this was a gamble on my part as I am not a drink maker. But it turned out great plus it’s really easy to throw together. Also, crock pot! Make and walk away. AND it keeps well in the fridge if there is any left + reheats in the microwave beautifully. The first batch disappeared really quickly - always a good sign - so I threw together a second batch. I’ve had several people ask for the recipe so thought I would throw it on the old blog to share.

NOTE: obviously the end result will vary depending on the wine purchased. My first batch was made with a Côtes du Rhône Villages (75% Grenache/25% Syrah blend), the second with a Cabernet. They each had their own personality but the first batch was my favorite and the one that disappeared quickly. I had some of the cabernet batch left over and it mellowed nicely in the fridge (and I might’ve enjoyed having it around to sip on in the evening). I would suggest letting it marry longer if you choose a cab or merlot varietal because it definitely became quite lovely the next day.

Mulled Winter Sangria


1 bottle red wine (read NOTE above)

2 c unsweetened apple juice (I used Martinelli’s)

2 c cranberry juice (not cocktail)

1/2 c black rum (I used Gosling)

1/4 - 1/3 c orange liqueur

1 orange

1/2 - 3/4 c brown sugar, packed

4 cinnamon sticks

1 - 2 tsp whole clove

1/2 - 1 c fresh whole cranberries


You can use a crock pot or do this on the stove top. Several ingredients have a range. This is because I literally made this up as I went so there were a couple adjustments; mostly around sugar/spices as I did not want to make it a sweet drink. I would start on the low end of the measurement and move up from there.

Add red wine, apple and cranberry juices to crockpot. Using a vegetable peeler, peel three good strips from the orange being careful to avoid the pith (it will make the drink bitter if too much pith) and toss in crock pot. Slice the orange in half and juice directly into crock pot. Sprinkle in the sugar, spices, and cranberries. Turn crock pot on high and give it all a good stir before putting the lid on. Let it heat for 30 minutes. Give it a taste test (careful, it will be hot) and adjust spices + sugar as needed to taste.