Autumn Cranberry Sangria, from scratch

I made a pretty bangin' sangria for Thanksgiving, and I wanted to share the recipe I threw together with anyone who may stumble across it. I started with this recipe as a base, and then put a "thanksgiving" spin on it. First of all, I double it. It was a Southwick Family Thanksgiving, after all. Secondly, though the "Cranberry" aspect of it made it Thanksgiving-y, I added another few twists there. And finally, instead of bourbon, I used a local Art in the Age liquor, Snap. I got compliments on the clove/nutmeg flavor that was subtle, but also helped the sangria combine to be "not too sweet"-- cutting back on the sugar, I think, also helped. If I would have truly doubled the recipe, there would have been 2 total cups of sugar, but instead I used 1 cup and a half cup of brown sugar. My aunts that love something sweet and tasty enjoyed this, as did my male cousins, who perhaps would normally think of sangria as a drink "too girly" for them.

Here is an updated version of the recipe. I recommend using as many local/organic ingredients as possible.

4 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp nutmeg
3-6 cloves

1 cup Snap
1.5 cups orange juice
1.5 liter bottle of Yellowtail Sweet Red Roo wine (or similar)

2 granny smith apples, diced
1/3 cup fresh cranberries
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced

-Combine water, cranberries, sugar, brown sugar, and spices over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
-Once mixture boils, lower to medium-low heat and let cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have all seemed to "pop"
-Remove from heat and drain solids from liquids-- a few floating fruit bits are good and fine here, but drain cranberry mash, ideally through a wire mesh, but a regular strainer and various kitchen utensils used for squishing can work*.
-Combine liquids with the wine, orange juice and Snap.
-Chill sangria for at least two hours, and if your sangria is not in the serving pitcher you are using**, pour it into it then. Add apples and cranberries to mixture, and slice lemons and oranges to garnish.
-Serve over ice.

*We saved the cranberry mash for an ingredient in something I'll make this weekend, not being sure if it's like the veggies in a soup broth, that wind up drained of flavor, or not. We will find out!
** We didn't have a pitcher, so we put it in mason jars and kept the fruit separate until it was time to serve it. Then we added it to the jars so that the fruit could get a bit soaked. I wish we had soaked the fruit longer, but I didn't want to add the fruit to the hot mixture. So, what I'm saying is, you can add the fruit as soon as the beverage has been cooled in the fridge for at least two hours OR right before you serve the drinks.


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