Naughty & Nice Sangria

Every year I throw a big holiday bash. It’s kind of my thing. I do other parties throughout the year, but this is the BIG one where I pull out all the stops. This year I decided to dispense with the elaborate eats and focus on one thing.


We did a vintage cocktail party and I served up four different holiday themed drinks. But having a big party with just one bartender (aka little old me) is tricky, so I had to balance the more labor intensive drinks with a few self-serve gems.

This cup of cheer was the star of the show.


Naught & Nice Sangria begins as you might expect sangria to begin- with fruit. In this case it’s plenty of winter fruits packed into our pitcher of goodness like cranberries, pears, and the bright notes of citrus. Top that off with wine and spices and let it sit and stew and think about what it’s done.


Just before your party, you can pull this out of the fridge and give it a pour. But we’re not done just yet. Make sure you use a cinnamon and sugar rim and plenty of spices as garnish. After all, this is naughty & nice sangria and I expect a little more sass back than your typical sangria.


Don’t wander away just yet because to finish off this cup, we need a generous pour of ginger beer. I happen to love Trader Joe’s homemade brew, which is just the right balance of spicy and sweet. Fill up your cup and don’t be shy about wanting more.

And there you have it folks. If you hurry, you can have this ready just in time for Christmas Eve.

Cheers and happy holidays to you and yours!

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Naughty & Nice Sangria


1 (750ml) bottle white wine

1 (12 ounce) ginger beer plus more for topping if desired

1 1/2 cups apple cider

1/2 cup pear or apple brandy

3 pears sliced

3 oranges sliced

1 cup cranberries

3 cinnamon sticks, star anise

cinnamon sugar for the rims of your glasses (optional)


In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredient. Stir and then place in the fridge until chilled. Don't chill for longer than a few hours or the ginger beer will lose its fizz.

Before serving, rim your glasses with cinnamon sugar. Fill each glass with ice and pour the sangria over the ice. If desired top with more ginger beer. Garnish with sliced of pears, oranges, star anise, and cranberries.

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