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Thanksgiving Sangria

Thanksgiving sangria
Maureen Petrosky / TODAY
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Thanksgiving is the perfect gathering to put together a big batch drink. Seasonal sangria can be made with fall fruits like apples and pears and even clementines like we added here. A mix of fruits creates a pitcher perfect for a centerpiece and makes a warm welcome for your thirsty guests. The key parts to sangria are the fruit, a spirit, a sweet element, and the wine. However, there is lots of room to play and create one that perfectly suits your taste and your menu. In this recipe spiced honey syrup takes the place of the sugar that appears in traditional sangria and I swap in a neutral spirit like vodka to replace the standard brandy. 

I can’t think of an occasion where bubbly wine isn’t appropriate, and Thanksgiving is a perfect time sip a little spritz. This sangria gets a festive makeover with sparkling wine. I use Cava, a Spanish sparkler, but feel free to pour in Prosecco or a California sparkling wine as you please. Here’s to a fabulous and fun Thanksgiving. Clink!



  • 2 apples, cored, sliced thin and then cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 clementines, sliced and seeded
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 bottle chilled Cava
Spiced honey syrup
  • 1/2 cup clover honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 whole star anise
  • NaN piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins (4 to 5 slices)
  • 1 strip of orange peel, removed with a peeler (no pith)


Combine the honey, water, star anise, ginger, and orange peel in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Continue simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain.

In a large pitcher combine the fruit, vodka and half of honey syrup. Lightly muddle.  Add the chilled Cava and stir. Serve in glasses filled with ice and add fruit to each glass.