Winter Sparkling Champagne Sangria

Winter sangria, chock full of orange and cranberry goodness, is combined with a favorite bottle of bubbly to create this cocktail. Spicy and not too sweet, Winter Sparkling Champagne Sangria is a perfect cold weather mixed drink!

Bottle pouring Champagne in wine glass filled with sangria

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Wine coolers and sangria weren’t my thing in high school or college.

As previously mentioned, I didn’t drink one sip of alcohol until I turned 21. Yes, I realize I was a strange bird. Yes, I’ve since fixed my ways. (Obviously.) And yes, I still turned out OK.

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    On that fateful birthday, my roommate and I drove to a drive-through daiquiri shop to order a drink in a hurricane… and I didn’t even get carded.

    No joke.

    I remember Erryca slamming her hand down on the wooden bar and demanding the bartender take a look at my ID, which he did. (Apparently, that was all that needed to be done to get his attention. Who knew?) Then he wished me a, “Happy Birthday,” poured our drinks, and that was it.

    Unfortunately, I realized that day that daiquiris were not my thing… and I drank a little of this and a little of that for nearly six months before discovering my first beer love, Abita’s Purple Haze.

    Overhead view of winter sangria in glass

    The summer after my 21st birthday, I studied abroad in Italy and was introduced to really good wine, even though wine had never been my thing before.

    And then sangria became tempting because wine and fruit combined together could NOT be bad!

    champagne sangria in a glass with a large pitcher

    Sangria is a summertime favorite drink of mine… but it can just as easily be made in the wintertime. This sangria is mulled, and it has a lovely hint of spice to it. It’s also not cloyingly sweet, so if you’re looking for something super saccharine? Don’t try this recipe.

    And then instead of just drinking the sangria, you top it with champagne.

    Because why not?

    Also, I realize that at first blush, the combination of sangria and champagne sounds dangerous or maybe even a little gross. I wasn’t sure how this would go over, either, but I gave it a go since I had the sangria already made and a bottle of champagne opened. (The champagne was opened for the first iteration of The Ginger Pomegranate Experiment, which was a maaaaaaajor fail.)

    I’m glad I gave this combo a go because it is absolutely delightful as a cocktail. As an added bonus, it’s perfect for this time of year, too!

    Two glasses of winter sangria next to glass pitcher

    Erin’s Recommended Tools/Products for Winter Sparkling Champagne Sangria

    Sound good?

    Here’s how I made the mulled sangria and cocktail:

    Glasses of Winter Sparkling Champagne Sangria
    Yield: 6 servings

    Winter Sparkling Champagne Sangria

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Winter sangria, chock full of orange and cranberry goodness, is combined with a favorite bottle of bubbly to create this cocktail. Spicy and not too sweet, Winter Sparkling Champagne Sangria is a perfect cold weather mixed drink!


    Mulled Sangria

    • 750 ml. cabernet sauvignon (or another dry red wine)
    • 1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
    • ¾ cup white grape juice
    • ½ cup honey simple syrup
    • ¼ cup orange juice
    • 3 navel oranges, sliced
    • ¾ cup fresh cranberries
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
    • ½ cup pomegranate liquor
    • ¼ cup orange liquor

    Winter Sparkling Champagne Sangria

    • 8 oz. Mulled Sangria
    • 4 oz. champagne


    Make the Mulled Sangria

    1. In a large saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer. Cook down until slightly thicker.
    2. Remove the saucepan from the heat, then add the cranberry juice, white grape juice, simple syrup and orange juice.
    3. Stir in the oranges, cranberries, cinnamon stick and cloves.
    4. Bring to room temperature.
    5. When the sangria has cooled completely, remove the cinnamon stick and cloves.
    6. Pour in the pomegranate liquor and orange liquor, and stir until combined.
    7. Transfer the sangria to a glass pitcher, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

    Make the Cocktail

    1. In a white wine glass or a champagne glass, pour in the sangria.
    2. Top the sangria with the champagne.
    3. Enjoy immediately.


    Please note that the total time does not include the chill time.

    Nutrition Information:


    6 servings

    Serving Size:

    1 serving

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 467Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 82gFiber: 4gSugar: 71gProtein: 2g

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

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    Glasses of Winter Sparkling Champagne Sangria
    What are your thoughts on sangria?

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    1. OMG did we discuss that we both studied abroad in Italy already?? I feel like I never knew this!!!! Where and when were you there? I studied abroad in Rome and actually celebrated by 21st over there – wow was THAT uneventful lol.

      1. Umm, NO, we most definitely did NOT discuss that we both studied abroad in Italy! Holy cow, woman! I was there in the summer of 2006. I lived in a small Tuscan town named Cortona. (It’s where Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed and takes place. We saw Frances Mayes on the street quite often while there!) And that’s amazing that you celebrated your 21st in Rome! SO FUN!

    2. OMG! This looks soooo good!! I love Abita Purple Haze too! Brings me back to my first New Orleans trip every time! What kind of pomegranate liquor do you use?

      1. Thanks so much, Leah! Purple Haze is STILL one of my favorites, and it makes me so happy to hear you adore it, too. 🙂

        The pomegranate liquor I use is from Joseph Cartron. I picked it up at my local wine/spirits store several years back, and we’re sloooooooooowly making our way through the bottle.

      1. Yes, ma’am! You only turn 21 once… and I was gonna get a drink, whether or not there was a hurricane. 😉 Thank you – this sangria is delicious.

    3. Oh my gosh, bring on the sangria!! I am proud of you for waiting until 21 to drink… I wish I had had your patience. 😉

      1. Thank you, Dee! Sangria is delicious year-round… and this recipe totally works for the holidays. I’ll send some right on over for you. 😉

    4. Lol! The only thing you really want is to be carded on your 21st birthday. 😀 This mixer wine sounds amazing, cabernet is one of my favorite wines too.

      1. That’s the truth! The memory of it still makes me chuckle because being able to PROVE you’re actually 21 is a big deal on the day of. 😉

        Thank you! I’m a big cabernet fan, too, and it works well here.

    5. I made this tonight for our Christmas cookie exchange. WOW. Driving all over town looking for pomegranate liquor was worth it. I’m not a sangria fan per se, but your champagne topper piqued my interest. Very Vegas and really, really good! Dangerously good. I still have to get up tomorrow! Thank you!

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