Citrus Cranberry Sangria

Slightly tart and sweet with a hint of cinnamon, this Citrus Cranberry Sangria is perfect for the holidays! Whether you’re making a batch for Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday parties or anything in between, this winter sangria is wonderful for sharing. Makes 6 servings.

A pitcher holds oranges, limes, cranberries and ingredients for sangria

My philosophy on entertaining is this: we should do it often, and we should make it easy on ourselves.

Which explains why I volunteered to host Friendsgiving for my moms club last week when we had to change dates due to sickness.

I’m all about seeing my friends—especially in instances where we have the opportunity to gather when our little ones are in bed—and was happy to open up my home for the event. Last year, I attended with a 6-week-old baby, and I was excited to continue the tradition.

So nine of my mama friends came over, and we had an amazing time last week.

I ended up making this sangria on a whim, thinking it would be really nice to have on my site for Christmastime… but after seeing the other mamas’ response to it—“OMG, WHAT IS IN THIS?” “Is this recipe on your site?” “Can you send it to me immediately?”—I figured that posting this Citrus Cranberry Sangria before Thanksgiving Day would be a good idea.

You know, in case you’d like to make it for your people this holiday.

More recipes that are great for sharing this time of year: Apple Chutney BruschettaCaprese SkewersGrilled Steak Flatbread PizzaLasagna Bites in Wonton ShellsVegetarian Taco Cups

Want to entertain, but don’t know where to begin? Check out my Entertaining recipe index for inspiration!

Ingredients for the pitcher drink, shown from above on top of a towel

What you’ll need to make Citrus Cranberry Sangria 

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Collage of six images showing how ingredients are added to the sangria

How to make Citrus Cranberry Sangria for the holidays

Make the Cinnamon Simple Syrup

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add equal measurements of water and granulated sugar. (For me, I like to go 1 cup of each, but you do you!)

Bring the ingredients to a gentle simmer, and turn off the heat once the sugar has completely dissolved in the water.

Add a stick of cinnamon, and let it steep for 30 minutes to 3 hours. (The longer you let the cinnamon hang out in the simple syrup, the more intense the flavor it will have. Personally, I enjoy a good cinnamon flavor, so I leave mine in for as long as possible. But if it’s not your jam, infuse it for less time.)

Once the infusion has finished, remove the cinnamon stick from the simple syrup. Pour the syrup into a glass jar, and transfer to the fridge, where it will keep for a few weeks, or until it’s time to make your holiday sangria.

Overhead of citrus and cranberries in a pitcher

Make and Infuse the Sangria

Slice the limes and oranges using a sharp knife.

In a large pitcher, measure out the cranberries, lime and orange slices.

Next, pour in the cranberry juice and simple syrup.

After that, pour in the bottle of wine, and stir it well so everything is mixed together.

Refrigerate for 8-12 hours (or overnight) to let the flavors meld, and then enjoy!

A wooden spoon stirs a pitcher of sangria, before it infuses

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips and Tricks

The best thing about any sangria—whether it’s the holidays or not—is that you have to make it in advance for it to have the most flavor.

The worst thing about any sangria is that you have to plan ahead to make it in advance. 😉

Here are some things you can do to make it as easy as possible on you:

  • Double the recipe! If you’re hosting more than 6 people, I highly suggest making a double batch of this sangria. Chances are, you won’t be able to fit it into one pitcher (because it would have to be a huge pitcher), so make two and store ‘em in the fridge.
  • Make the cinnamon simple syrup in advance. Since this keeps in the fridge for a few weeks, you could make and steep the simple syrup any given day that you have the time before your get-together.
  • Serve ‘em with the fruit! One of my friends ate the fruit out of her glass as we were all hanging out during Friendsgiving. Offer guests a spoon to scoop fruit out for themselves into their glass, if they so choose.
Cranberry Sangria is poured into a glass

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of wine should I use in this holiday sangria?

Personally, I like a dry and crisp white wine to add to this Cranberry Sangria, so I enjoy a sauvignon blanc.

If you’re looking for something that’s not sauvignon blanc, I recommend a pinot grigio.

I do not recommend Riesling (because it’s incredibly sweet) or chardonnay (because it has oaky flavors, which are delicious on their own, but don’t jive with the flavors here.)

How long do I have to refrigerate my sangria before it can be enjoyed?

While this sangria could be enjoyed right away, the fruit won’t have time to infuse the liquid.

Because of this, I recommend letting your sangria hang out in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving. That said, you can refrigerate it overnight, too, if that’s better for you.

Can I use frozen cranberries instead of fresh?

Yes, you can use frozen cranberries if you can’t find the fresh variety, but I do not recommend using dried (and sweetened) cranberries.

Glasses of Cranberry Sangria sit on golden plates, ready for sipping

Quick tips for making Citrus Cranberry Sangria

  • Give it time to infuse! While you can drink the sangria immediately after it’s mixed, the flavors are more pronounced and delicious after they’ve melded together. Build in time for this!
  • Store your sangria in the fridge for up to a day! I recommend placing a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the pitcher, though, so it doesn’t soak up any random scents from the fridge.
  • Substitution alert: Use lemons instead of limes if those are more your speed. The overall flavors of this recipe will still shine, but the tart citrus element will be a little different.
Pinterest image for Citrus Cranberry Sangria, showing a pitcher full of the sangria and text
A pitcher holds oranges, limes, cranberries and ingredients for sangria
Yield: 6 servings

Citrus Cranberry Sangria

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Infusion Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

Slightly tart and sweet with a hint of cinnamon, this Citrus Cranberry Sangria is perfect for the holidays! Whether you’re making a batch for Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday parties or anything in between, this winter sangria is wonderful for sharing.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 oranges, sliced thin
  • 2 limes, sliced thin
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 6 oz. cinnamon simple syrup
  • 750 ml. sauvignon blanc

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, measure out the orange and lime slices. Add
    in the cranberries, too.
  2. Pour in the cranberry juice, simple syrup and sauvignon blanc.
  3. Stir until combined.
  4. Refrigerate for 8-12 hours, or overnight, then serve cold! 

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 17gSugar: 38gProtein: 2g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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