Thanksgiving Sangria

5 from 39 votes

Thanksgiving Sangria is the signature drink your holiday feast needs. Made with spiced apple cider, dry white wine and whiskey, this quintessential holiday cocktail is party-sized and worth sharing.

A festive Thanksgiving sangria infused with apple cider, garnished with cinnamon sticks and apples.

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Thanksgiving Sangria recipe

Thanksgiving is all about sharing. From gratitude to great food, this holiday is a lovely time to enjoy the company of family and friends and the flavors of the season.

But don’t let drinks be an afterthought. Drinks bring people together from the start of the party and they are another way to bring festive flavor to the menu.

This Thanksgiving Sangria is just the ticket. Made with white wine, whiskey, apple cider, and seasonal fruits, this pitcher drink will serve the whole crowd and keep them cozy throughout the day.

You can serve it during dinner, of course, but it’s also a great welcome drink to serve when guests arrive. You can also sip on it while cooking if you like!  

This recipe is based on my apple cider sangria recipe, with more fall flavors like pomegranate, orange and bourbon. I first made it for a Friendsgiving dinner and it was such a big hit. 

More sangria recipes: White Wine SangriaRed Wine SangriaFrozen Sangria

A glass of apple cider with cranberries.

Why you’ll love this recipe

This Thanksgiving sangria is perfect for your holiday table.

  • It’s easy to make. The hardest part is cutting the fruit!
  • Light and sweet, this easy sipper is great to go with a heavy meal.
  • It’s full of fall flavor and perfectly complements the holiday meal.
  • It is an easy sipper that doesn’t taste like alcohol. 

Serve this drink at your Thanksgiving dinner, a Friendsgiving gathering or even while shopping for Black Friday deals. You could also serve it at any fall celebration (but maybe you’d want to call it fall sangria!).

This is an adults-only drink. For the kids, serve up this Thanksgiving spa water or make a mocktail like apple cider mimosas with sparkling apple cider. 

A pitcher of apple cider with cinnamon sticks and apples, perfect for Thanksgiving gatherings.

What is sangria?

Sangria is a fruit-infused wine beverage that hails from Spain. It’s traditionally made with red wine but it can be made with white wine and rosé wine as well.

The drink is made by cutting up fruits and letting them infuse with the wine for a little while before serving. Herbs and spices can also be added for fragrance and flavor.

Other alcohols are often added for flavor and potency, most commonly brandy or orange liqueur, but whiskey and vodka also work.

Tools & glassware

Sangria can be made right in the pitcher or you can prepare it in a mixing bowl and decant it into the pitcher later. You’ll want a spatula or wooden spoon with a long handle for stirring.

And of course, you’ll need to prepare the fruits, too, though you can feel free to use pre-cut fruit from the store to save you some time. You might want a mandoline, an apple corer and slicer and herb scissors. A sharp knife and cutting board would be clutch, too.

For serving, you’ll want a large pitcher or party drink dispenser, plus wine glasses for sipping the drinks.

A list of ingredients for a Thanksgiving apple bourbon cocktail.

Ingredients

For this holiday season sangria, you’ll need to grab these simple ingredients from the grocery store:

  • dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • whiskey or brandy
  • orange liqueur such as triple sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • fresh apple cider
  • maple syrup or simple syrup 
  • cinnamon sticks
  • apples (I love honeycrisp apples) 
  • oranges
  • pomegranate arils
  • rosemary
  • ginger ale, ginger beer or club soda, optional

Variations and substitutions

You can use whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand. Throw in leftover fresh cranberries after you make cranberry sauce. Lemon slices would also add some color. Slices of bartlett pear or blood oranges would also be so pretty, festive and full of delicious flavor. 

You can use other herbs like thyme or sage. If you want even more herb flavor, use a herb infusion like this rosemary simple syrup instead of maple syrup. 

If you use a sweeter wine like Moscato, skip the extra sweetener. 

If you’d rather this be a red sangria, use a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon instead of white and replace the apple cider with cranberry juice or pomegranate juice. 

How to make Thanksgiving Sangria

Making this sangria for Thanksgiving is so easy! It’s way simpler than a turkey, anyway.

A glass pitcher is being filled with sangria, perfect for Thanksgiving celebrations.
A Thanksgiving-inspired glass of Sangria, adorned with fruit and sprigs of rosemary.

First, wash and cut up your fruits. I love using a big sink colander like this when I have a lot of fruit to wash.

Tip: Keep apples and pears from turning brown by spritzing them with lemon juice.

Next pour all the liquids into the pitcher, including the wine, apple cider, orange liqueur, whiskey and maple syrup. Stir together.

Then add all the apple slices, orange slices, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon sticks and rosemary sprigs. Stir together, then refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Pour sangria into stemless wine glasses with ice cubes. Add some of the fruit to each glass and garnish with fresh rosemary and a cinnamon stick. Top up with a splash of club soda, ginger ale or sparkling water for bubbles if you like.

Two people toasting with glasses of fruity sangria during Thanksgiving celebration.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe.

  • Save time by buying pre-cut fruit or using a food chopper or mandoline to make slicing a breeze.
  • Keep apples and pears from turning brown by spritzing them with lemon juice.
  • Be sure to let the sangria infuse in the fridge for at least an hour so the flavors can meld together before you put it out on your Thanksgiving table. 
  • You can easily double or triple this recipe for a big crowd. Keep a spare pitcher in the fridge for when the first one runs out.
  • Serve this perfect Thanksgiving cocktail in a punch bowl for big parties. 
  • Give the wine glasses a cinnamon sugar rim for a festive look and flavor. 
A pitcher of apple cider infused with cinnamon sticks and garnished with fresh apples, perfect for Thanksgiving gatherings.

What to serve with Thanksgiving Sangria

Thanksgiving Sangria will outshine the turkey and pies at any feast! Serve it with all your favorite dishes from pumpkin biscuits to green beans

It’s also a good one to have with appetizers like baked brie, brie bites or sausage balls. If you have it with appetizers, go for a different cocktail during dinner like this Thanksgiving cocktail.

For dessert, have apple pie bars or chocolate bourbon pecan pie — my favorite!

FAQ

How long should you chill sangria?

Sangria should spend at least one hour in the fridge to allow the fresh fruit, herbs and spices time to infuse into the wine mixture.

How do you keep apples from turning brown in sangria?

Apples and pears naturally begin to brown when they meet oxygen. To prevent browning, douse them in lemon juice to help preserve the color. However, once the fruit is in sangria, it will begin to take on the colors of the ingredients.

What can I use instead of brandy?

Applejack, apple brandy, spiced rum or whiskey will all work nicely in this fall sangria recipe. 

A pitcher of apple cider with cinnamon sticks and apples, perfect for Thanksgiving festivities.

More Thanksgiving drinks

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

A Thanksgiving-inspired glass of Sangria, adorned with fruit and sprigs of rosemary.

Thanksgiving Sangria

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
This spiced Thanksgiving Sangria is full of festive flavors and will make your holiday table so warm and cozy.
5 from 39 votes
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ingredients

  • 1 (750ml) bottle dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur
  • 1 red apple such as Honeycrisp, diced
  • 1 green apple such as Granny Smith, diced
  • 1 navel orange sliced
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils from 1 pomegranate
  • 4 sticks cinnamon
  • 6 sprigs rosemary
  • 24 ounces ginger beer (optional)

instructions

  • In a large pitcher, combine white wine, apple cider, bourbon and orange liqueur. Stir together.
  • Stir in the apples, orange slices, pomegranate arils, cinnamon sticks and rosemary. Chill for at least one hour, up to 24 hours.
  • Pour into glasses and top with ginger beer. Spoon some of the fruit into each glass.

notes

Though you can drink it right away, it’s best to let the sangria infuse in the fridge for at least an hour so the flavors have time to meld together.
Taste it before serving. If you need to sweeten it, stir in maple syrup, honey or simple syrup. 
You can easily double or triple this recipe for a big crowd. Keep a spare pitcher in the fridge for when the first one runs out.

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nutrition information

Yield: 8 servings

amount per serving:

Serving: 8ounces Calories: 167kcal Carbohydrates: 30g Protein: 1g Fat: 0.5g Saturated Fat: 0.1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g Sodium: 11mg Potassium: 197mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 25g Vitamin A: 76IU Vitamin C: 15mg Calcium: 38mg Iron: 1mg
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