Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //
Entertain, Occasions, Wine & Cocktails, Winter


Remember when I mentioned all the seasonal recipes I have in my backlog? Well, today I’m finally publishing the very first sangria recipe I ever developed — almost 10 years ago (yikes!). I honestly can’t even tell you how many times I’ve made this Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria with friends and family over the years, but I bet it’s more than 50. In fact, it was this recipe that inspired my sangria craze — it’s the original! It was singlehandedly responsible for a large portion of my 20’s being a bit hazy and escalating some of my favourite entertaining memories (or lack there of!) in our first homes over the years! This classic red sangria never fails to get the party started (now that’s the understatement of the century!) and is my all time favourite beverage to make when we’re hosting or attending a party, especially during the cooler months. It’s absolutely delicious and approved by friends, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and inlaws — even the non-wine drinkers rave about it! So, I figured it was finally time to unleash the recipe on the world — however, I will not be held liable for any life altering hangovers that ensue after a few too many glasses (hey, it goes down easy — consider yourself warned!).

My Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria is the quintessential holiday cocktail, marrying fruity zinfandel and apricot brandy with festive, seasonal flavours of satsuma, lime, lemon, pomegranate and a hint of cozy cinnamon. This better-for-you holiday cocktail is free of added sugar and brimming with clean, plant based ingredients plus a mega dose of antioxidants. If you love to entertain, this simple, jubilant sangria will leave your guests feeling merry and bright! And to help spread some holiday cheer, my Connecting Over Cocktails crew and I are back at it again — and this time, we’re thrilled to bring you our Holiday Edition. If you’re planning a festive celebration and looking to take the party up a notch this year, check out the bottom of this post for 5 gorgeous, seasonal sips from a handful of my favourite cocktail connoisseurs!


Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //

This recipe brings back so many memories — and I’m sure if any of my friends or family are reading this, they’re probably nodding their heads in agreement! It’s definitely a very nostalgic recipe and I feel like I was able to do it justice today. The funny thing is, this was one of those recipes I made so many times I didn’t ever bother writing anything down, I simply made it from memory. That’s part of the reason why I didn’t publish my Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria earlier — but let me explain!

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //

This month I called and texted everyone who I’d ever shared this sangria with in an attempt to recall the ingredients collectively. Until Wednesday, I hadn’t made my Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria for about 4 years — we drank it so much within a short time frame, I guess we overdid it (and oh, the hangovers!). In the summer months we moved onto White Citrus Sangria (which offers a decidedly less intense hangover!), then I came up with my Red Wine Caesars (basically a savoury sangria!). For the holidays the first year I started blogging I whipped up an ultra luxe Sparkling Pomegranate Cranberry Sangria with prosecco, followed by the great rosé craze of 2016 (#yeswayrosé!) when I concocted a fun and floral Rosé Lychee Elderflower Sangria.

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //

Last holiday season, I created my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine — my first ever mulled wine recipe! And in the New Year, my Blood Orange Creamsicle Mimosas, which were inspired by New Years Day brunch in the country where I came up with the recipe as our Cava chilled in the snow. At the height of our insane heatwave this past summer, my craziest sangria inspired cocktail yet was born — Watermelon Frosé Margaritas (an icy sangria 2.0 with an attitude — and a healthy dose of tequila!).

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //

So, you can see how my original sangria recipe fell through the cracks — but it’s inspired many, many cocktails here at JustineCelina over the years, which have in turn become some of my most popular recipes! Needless to say I’m thrilled to finally share this recipe with you. Since developing my Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria almost a decade ago, my palette has definitely become a bit more refined, so I did tweak my original recipe ever so slightly. First, I added orange Pellegrino (my favourite way to boost the flavour of sangria as a healthier alternative to soda) and I also swapped the original store bought orange juice for freshly squeezed satsuma juice. I found some gorgeous satsuma mandarins earlier this week — and since we’re entering the height of winter citrus season, I just had to use them in this recipe. Fresh satsuma juice really sends this festive sangria over the top!

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //

If you’re not able to find satsumas, go ahead and use mandarin oranges or regular oranges (notes below). This recipe can absolutely be enjoyed year round and it’s next to impossible to find fresh satsumas and mandarins in the warmer months! However, if you can find satsumas (I found them by the bag full at my local Superstore and man are they delicious!) please do yourself a favour and use them in this recipe. No matter your orange citrus of choice, freshly squeezed juice makes all the difference! I also dressed the recipe up garnishing with pomegranate arils and cinnamon sticks — both of which are completely optional but highly encouraged if you’re enjoying my Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria during the holidays. Alright friends — pull out your largest beverage dispenser and let’s make some festive sangria, shall we?!

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //


Yield: One larger pitcher (makes enough for a good party — but if you’re hosting 8+, double this recipe!)

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria Ingredients //

• 2 bottles of Zinfandel (fruity Zinfandel, not old vine, works best)
• 1 375ml bottle of Apricot Brandy
• 2 cans of Aranciata (Orange) San Pellegrino
• 2 cans of Soda Water
• 1 cup freshly squeezed satsuma juice (if satsuma’s aren’t available, use mandarins or oranges. 1 cup of satsuma juice is approximately 8-10 satsumas or mandarins, or 5 regular oranges)
• Juice from 2 limes
• Juice from 1 lemon

Optional Garnish

• 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
• Cinnamon sticks

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //


1. Add red wine and apricot brandy to a large beverage dispenser.

2. Add San Pellegrino, then soda water. We like our sangria on the dryer side, but if you prefer sweeter drinks you may want to add more San Pellegrino and less soda water. Make sure to taste (and stir) as you go!

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //

3. Slice and squeeze satsumas (or mandarins, or oranges!) into a measuring cup until you have 1 cup of juice. Then add the lemon and lime juice to the mixture, reserving a few slices to float on top. We like ours pretty citrus-y, but again, if you prefer sweeter drinks you may want to add more satsumas and less lemon and lime. Feel free to adjust these rations to suit your palette!

4. Time for garnish! Pomegranates arils make a beautiful garnish, but will likely clog the spout of your beverage dispenser. Feel free to add half a cup or arils to the mixture if your beverage dispenser doesn’t have a spout. Or, garnish each glass with a single serving of arils (citrus slices float and the arils sit nicely on top!). You can also add a few cinnamon sticks to the beverage dispenser, or garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick if you prefer.

5. Enjoy immediately or allow the Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria to sit overnight and serve the next day. Cheers!

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //

[yumprint-recipe id=’49’]

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //


You know who else loves cocktails a good cocktail? My Canadian food blogger friends! If you’ve been with me for awhile, you’ve likely heard me gush about their work — my Food Bloggers of Canada community is invaluable to me I’m very fortunate to call these ladies my friends. And you better believe any friend of mine can mix up a mean cocktail! This time around we’ve added a couple of new members to our Connecting Over Cocktails family, so be sure to swing by for a festive beverage and tell them I sent you!

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //

Bernice at Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen’s Dirty Chai Eggnog

Charlene at Chew Street’s Orange Ginger Punch

Jess at Cooking in my Genes’s Spiced Winter Punch

Amanda and Peppers and Pennies‘s Canadian Hot Chocolate

Samantha at My Kitchen Loves’s Easy Bourbon Eggnog

P.S. – You can index our recipes via social media with the hashtag #FBCConnectingOverCocktails, if that’s your preferred method of browsing!


Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //



Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine

Blood Orange Creamsicle Mimosas

Sparkling Pomegranate Cranberry Sangria

Red Wine Caesars (basically a savoury sangria!)

White Citrus Sangria

Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria //

What are your favourite holiday cocktails? As always, if you try my Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria (or any of the other cocktails in this roundup) leave me a comment below, or tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook! If you end up making it this holiday season please report back and let me know — I absolutely love to hear from you! You can also use the hashtag #justinecelinarecipes in your recreations on social media so I can find them — I love it when you guys tag me so I can see what you make! I also have a Pinterest board for my recipes if you’re looking for more plant based culinary inspiration or better-for-you cocktail options with clean ingredients. Thanks for stopping by to share a glass of the sangria that inspired a decade of recipes! 

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and contains my genuine thoughts, ideas and recommendations. JustineCelina uses affiliate and referral links, which allow me to receive a small commission when you make a purchase through one of my links. Thank you for supporting the brands and businesses that support!

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Spiced Winter Punch - Cooking in my Genes November 24, 2017 at 11:45 am

    […] Justine from’s Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria […]

  • Reply eyecandypopper November 24, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    So pretty! and sounds delicious, I love sangria!

    • Reply Justine November 25, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you, Gabby! It’s an all time favourite. 😉

  • Reply Nicole November 24, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I haven’t had sangria in years, but your pictures are making me want to reach out and grab one! Beautiful!

    • Reply Justine November 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks so much, Nicole! It’s definitely been our festive beverage of choice for the last decade. 🙂 Cheers!

  • Reply Lily {Gastro Senses} November 24, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Cheers!!! I’ll take two

    • Reply Justine November 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Coming right up! 😉

  • Reply Samantha | My Kitchen Love November 24, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Love all your versions of sangria and this is no exception! The flavours are incredible, and I agree with you, satsuma oranges all the way (soo good!). Thanks for holding the collab group together!

    • Reply Justine November 25, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Hahaha, #allthesangria! Thanks so much, Samantha! It’s always so much fun collabing with you and seeing what everyone comes up with. Cheers to the next time we get to share a cocktail together!

  • Reply Shareba November 24, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    What a gorgeous party drink! I’ll have to give this a try this holiday season 🙂

    • Reply Justine November 25, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you, Shareba! Please report back with your tasting notes. Cheers!

  • Reply Leslie-Anne November 25, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Yum! What a gorgeous sangria! I’ll have to make this for a festive gathering!

    • Reply Justine November 25, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Please report back if you do, Leslie-Anne! Thanks so much for stopping by this weekend. 🙂

  • Reply Bernice Hill November 25, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Makes enough for a good party…words that I definitely like to read when reading a cocktail recipe!! Thanks for letting us in on this old and cherished favourite recipe, your photos are fab and are really making me drool!

    • Reply Justine November 26, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Haha — there’s really no other way to describe it! Truthfully I always end up tasting about a glass full as I make it, so it was the most accurate measurement I could give. 😉 Thanks for the kudos — always a pleasure collaborating with you Bernice. Enjoy your Sunday!

  • Reply Jessica November 27, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Gorgeous cocktail Justine! I love Sangria but have never found a good Red Sangria recipe so I’m LOVING what you’ve shared! I know this recipe will be a entertaining staple for me for years to come. Cheers to another wonderful Connecting Over Cocktails collab (next time we cheers IRL!)

    • Reply Justine November 27, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      If you try it you have to let me know how it goes! It’s always so much fun collabing with you. 🙂 And yes — we will have to meet up in the New Year for another IRL cocktail, I’ve been thinking about that orange wine lately! Cheers!

  • Reply Charlene Theodore November 28, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    This is such a pretty and festive drink! Can’t wait for our next collab!

    • Reply Justine November 29, 2017 at 11:43 am

      Thanks so much, Charlene! This collab was a blast — so happy to have you along for the ride. 🙂 Cheers!

  • Reply DIY | HOW TO MAKE AN ASYMMETRICAL HOLIDAY WREATH - JustineCelina December 20, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    […] Christmas playlist, settle in with a glass of your favourite festive beverage (may I suggest Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria?) and let’s get […]

  • Reply Dirty Chai Eggnog – Dish 'n' the Kitchen January 24, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    […] Justine Celina’s Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria  […]

  • Reply LATE HARVEST SPICED APPLE SANGRIA + LOCAL RECIPE BUNDLE GIVEAWAY! - JustineCelina October 5, 2018 at 9:38 am

    […] Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.