Holiday Spice Sangria

Holiday spice sangria! It’s made in advance of any holiday soirees, and the flavors just get better over the span of a few days. It’s perfect to take to parties, as it’s a fun switch-up from the usual bottle of vino. 

Cheers to the morning. 

Holiday spice sangria 
We have girls’ night tonight, and I’m looking forward to all of the upcoming festivities.

I need to take a moment and question the fact that no one in Valdosta seems to have crazy holiday lights or lawn blow-ups?? I know our neighbors aren’t total grinches – they’re actually the best ever – but many neighborhood streets are still dark and kind of glum. In Tucson, it was almost like a competition to see who could have the most obnoxious lawn. When ours wasn’t twinkly enough the first year, our neighbor came over and added to our decor hahaha. It was amazing. In San Diego, we totally decked out the yard with lights – anything goes in OB – and in Valdosta, we have a moderate display since everything seems so low-key. It’s funny to see how things change with each location. 

I’ll definitely miss Christmas with the fam in Tucson. Christmas Eve at my dad’s house with nana’s enchiladas, cousin shenanigans and lounging on the couch with the best eggnog. Christmas morning at my mom’s house with coffee cake and A Christmas Story while we open gifts. As much as I’ll miss all of that, I’m equally looking forward to some new traditions and fun this year with just the Pilot and the girls.

I’m hosting a cookie exchange and ladies’ night at our house, and we’re going to take the girls to Snow Mountain before Christmas Eve. I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to do the whole turkey thing on Christmas – we usually do Thanksgiving-ish food so we can have leftovers – or try something totally random, like Italian food or poke bowls. 

One thing that’s for certain: this holiday spice sangria is going to be a staple for the next month or so.

Holiday spice sangriaI’ve been waiting to share this fun, festive and slightly boozy recipe with ya!

This is a spin-off of my very favorite tequila fruit sangria, except we’re using brandy instead, and infusing it with warming spices like cinnamon and anise. It has a mild citrus kick from fresh orange, and goes down a liiiittle too smoothly. You can drink this cold, or warmed up in the slow cooker like a mulled wine. Roll however you’d like to roll. 

A little video just to make us all want one at 6am on a Tuesday:
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And the recipe!


Holiday Spice Sangria


  • 2 pears, sliced
  • 3 red apples, sliced
  • 3 oranges (2 sliced, 1 juiced and juice reserved)
  • 1/31/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 bottle inexpensive red wine
  • Brandy


  1. Place the sliced fruit into a roasting dish.
  2. Pour enough brandy over the fruit to cover completely.
  3. Pour the orange juice on top and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Store covered in the fridge overnight.
  5. The next day, add the fruit, cinnamon sticks, anise pods, nutmeg, vanilla and wine to a large pitcher.
  6. Let set in the fridge to cool overnight.
  7. Serve iced with a cinnamon stick and orange slice, or heat the mixture on low in the slow cooker.

 Holiday spice sangria is perfect for holiday parties! #sangriarecipe #holidayrecipes #holidaycocktail #cocktailrecipe

Please let me know if you give it a try.

What’s your favorite holiday drink or cocktail? Are you an eggnog fan or not-so-much? This is the recipe the Pilot uses each year (and he makes me an almond milk version).



More favorite cocktails:

Kombucha cocktails

This tequila sangria

the Lucky Irish Girl

Pear-Ginger-Apple Saketini

Naughty Cocoa

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  1. Emily @ Pizza and Pull-Ups on December 12, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Well, this just sounds like a delightful and festive drink option. I will have to give it a try for some upcoming holiday get-togethers.

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      please let me know if you give it a try!

  2. Lindsey B on December 12, 2017 at 7:35 am

    I thought of you! Lol. This shirt is amazing! Happy Tuesday! Oh, and this sangria will be made this weekend 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      let me know what you think! i love that shirt so much! it’s funny because just the other day, i thought to myself, “what time is it?”

  3. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on December 12, 2017 at 8:09 am

    I’ve lived a number of places and it is funny how in AZ people go all out decorating.

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      yes, az definitely goes all out!

  4. Juliana on December 12, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I have a recommendation for nontraditional holiday food: Indian food. I had Thanksgiving dinner in London with the British side of the family this year and we went to Dishoom (THE BEST) and it was amazing. Indian food might be my new fave non-traditional holiday meal.

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      i love that idea! we usually do indian food on new year’s eve and it’s SO good <3

  5. Angela on December 12, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    My husband and I are spending our first Christmas away from our family so we were just talking about what we should make for Christmas dinner (we do a thanksgiving spread traditionally as well). We are thinking a surf and turf meal would be fun!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      ohhh i might go with that! steak and lobster is always a hit

  6. Kate on December 13, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Just wondering if you have any recipes for a low sugar non alcoholic alternative Christmassy warm drink? 17 weeks pregnant and missing my vino 🙁

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      hmmm the low-sugar part makes it a little tricky. i would do warm apple cider with some cranberry juice, orange and cinnamon

      • Kate on December 17, 2017 at 11:57 am

        cider has alcohol in it :-/ At least where I live in Ireland 🙂

        • Fitnessista on December 17, 2017 at 5:28 pm

          Ohhh man. I was thinking of apple cider- It’s like apple juice but with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves

          • Kate on December 17, 2017 at 7:08 pm

            Great! I think I could easily put that together! Love those flavours…and the spice smells wafting though the kitchen 😀

          • Fitnessista on December 17, 2017 at 11:20 pm

            yes! hopefully it would still bring a little bit of cheer in a mug minus the alcohol 😉 excited for you!

  7. Nicole @ Bento Momentos on December 13, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Yum, how festive – I love the look of sangria… with its cinnamon sticks and orange peels, looking at it makes me feel like I can smell it!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      please let me know if you try it!

  8. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on December 13, 2017 at 11:19 am

    It’s probably because Christmas in places where it doesn’t snow (I have zero idea if it snows in Valdosta, I can barely spell that and I have no idea where it is other than the East Coast) have to overcompensate with ridiculous displays of Christmas. When it’s 80 degrees on Thanksgiving you’ve got to do something to feel the holidays after that!

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      i think you’re exactly right!

  9. Melissa on December 13, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    That looks so delicious!!
    Our neighborhood here in Birmingham has been EXTRA festive this year—it’s kind of crazy and I love it! **WE** look scroogey b/c all we have up is our wreaths! (But we don’t have outdoor plugs so it’s kind of a no-go otherwise!)

    • Fitnessista on December 15, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      we didn’t have outdoor plugs in san diego and it was such a giant pain. we had to snake our lights in the corner of the crack in the door.

  10. Annie on December 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    How much brandy did you actually use?

    • Fitnessista on December 21, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      hmmm like 1/2 a cup to 1 cup? not a ton- just enough to soak the fruit.

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