Jarrod, aka @diycocktailguy, whips up his Christmas Sangria For Later — an easy breezy batch cocktail that you will be sipping on all summer long.
If you’ve been tasked with the huge responsibility of hosting and cooking Christmas Day festivities, chances are, you’re feeling the heat as the big day approaches. From entrées to mains, barbecuing and desserts, you’ve already got your hands full and you don’t want to add mixing and shaking cocktails to your already long to-do list. So, our gift to you these holidays is the Christmas Sangria For Later. It’s refreshingly zesty and fruity, it’s fool-proof, and it can be prepped ahead of time. It’s got all the festive bells and whistles, without the fuss. It’s a big yes from us, and we’re guessing it’ll be a big yes from you too.
But don’t sweat, Jarrod’s gift to you these holidays is the Christmas Sangria For Later. “The purpose behind this cocktail is that you just batch it up before your guests arrive for Christmas and before the chaos starts,” he says. “You pop it in the fridge and leave it for later, then you bring it out just when the party’s about to start.” It’s refreshingly zesty and fruity, it’s fool-proof, and it can be prepped ahead of time. It’s got all the festive bells and whistles, without the fuss. So, it’s a big yes from us, and we’re guessing it’ll be a big yes from you too.
The spiced wine punch is a tried and tested party pleaser that’s as stress-free as the laid-back, go-with-the-flow Spanish culture that it comes from. A classic sangria recipe will typically include citrus from fresh oranges and orange juice, alongside red wine and brandy. But nowadays, it’s also common to see recipes that feature cranberries as the hero, or even refreshing summer fruits like our Watermelon Sangria.
While you don’t have to fork out a lot of money on a bottle of red for sangria, the variety of red you use does matter. A Grenache or Pinot Noir is going to be your best friend as both varieties are low in tannins, the naturally occurring compounds in grape skins which tend to take on a bitter taste when chilled. Hailing from the Mediterranean climate of South Australia’s world-renowned McLaren Vale wine region, the Freebird Grenache embodies the cherry spices of Italian, Portuguese and Spanish grape varieties — “It’s also won a couple of awards as well, so I highly recommend,” adds Jarrod.
There’s no hard and fast rules when it comes to what type of brandy is the best to use in sangria, so you’ll want to strike the balance between great taste and great price point. If the red wine and citrus delivers the fruity flavours, the brandy infuses a spiced kick and depth of flavour, making it a crucial ingredient. In the Christmas Sangria For Later, St Agnes VS Brandy will deliver aromatic flavours of orange peel, oak and vanilla bean, but won’t break the bank.
To serve your Christmas sangria, you’ll want to bring it out about half an hour before guests arrive, Jarrod says. You’ll then need cups, a ladle and a punch bowl (the bigger the better) or simply a large pitcher to pour. If you’re hosting a lot of extended family this Christmas, we recommend having some extra pitchers of sangria waiting chilled in the wings, that way, you can keep topping up the big punch bowl as needed. To store, simply keep covered in the fridge.
In Jarrod’s Christmas Sangria For Later recipe, you’ll taste how the citrus flavours of the orange balance with the tartness and sweetness of summer cherries to deliver festive Christmas flavours. But keep in mind, sangria is a versatile big batch cocktail, so depending on your own taste, you’re able to create batches where different ingredients such as cranberries, cinnamon, apple or even ginger are the hero — the choice is yours!
Plus, if you’ve jumped on the chilled red bandwagon of late, check out our round-up of refreshing red wine cocktails that will be calling your name all summer long. From the Kalimotxo to the Red Wine Sublime your holiday line-up is officially sorted.
Now that you’ve got everything you need to whip up the best Christmas Sangria For Later, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the festivties!