Holiday entertaining would not be very entertaining without a signature drink to go with your event. Fancy punches were always served in our house. Alcohol free for the kiddie set, but you knew it was a monumental day where you graduated (as you achieved legal drinking age) to have a mug of the Holiday beverage for the adults.
To keep it simple, I am offering up a recipe that can be made alcoholic or non-alcoholic with a simple change of ingredients, yet lets you be the entertaining host or hostess that is “on point” for your Holiday party. Sangria serves us well in this situation. typically a signature drink in Portugal and Spain, it is a juice and spirits blend that also contains fresh fruit that has marinaded in the spirits for a period of time before the beverage is served.
The base of the drink is to create a cranberry simple syrup. In the recipe below I will have you boil together equal amounts of sugar and water with some macerated cranberries. We then add in a Red Blend wine. I like a lot of Spanish or Chilean reds that tend to have stronger cherry and blackberry notes. A traditional Sangria will also include some brandy, but in this case as we are building a depth of flavors, I have selected a Cranberry Vodka. For the fruit choices, I like to use fruits of the season. I have cranberries, blackberries, apple slices, lemons, and oranges. We will steep in a cinnamon stick or two as well to kick up the holiday flavors a notch. It all gets finished with club soda and ice. For just the punch we will use the simple syrup, cranberry juice, seven up, and the fresh fruit.
Here is your recipe for Cranberry Sangria and Cranberry punch:
Cranberry Sangria and Cranberry Punch
- 1 ml bottle Dry sweet Spanish or Chilean wine 750, Temperanillo Garnacha or Rioja
- 5 oz cranberry vodka 150 ml
- 14 oz cranberry juice an equal additional amount if making both the punch and sangria
- 10 oz club soda or 7-up. an additional amount if making both punch and sangria
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 orange sliced
- 4 lemon sliced
- 2 pint of Blackberries
- 1 lb bag of fresh Cranberries
Make the cranberry simple syrup - If you are making just the sangria use only a half cup of sugar and an equal amount of water into a saucepan (use the full cup if doing both or doubling the batch).
Add 8 oz. of fresh cranberries and mascerate (burst or crush) the cranberries with a muddling tool or a wooden spoon.
Bring the mixture to a boil until the sugar is completely dissolved and simmer for another 15 minutes to reduce the liquid.
For the Sangria
In a large pitcher add 1 orange (sliced), 1 lemon (sliced), 1 pint of blackberries, 8 oz of fresh cranberries, 4 sticks of cinnamon, the wine and vodka. let the fruit marinate in the alcohol and syrup for at least one hour.
Prior to serving, remove the cinnamon sticks, add the ice and club soda and serve.
For the Punch
In a punchbowl, add 1 orange (sliced), 1 lemon (sliced), 1 pint of blackberries, 8 oz of fresh cranberries, cranberry juice, 7-up, and ice.
Mix the punch and serve.