Well, it’s December — and that can only mean one thing…

Er, if you think I’m going in the direction of “christmas baking!” or “watching Rudolph with bae!” you are oh-so-mistaken. That one imperative thing I’m talking about is sipping on something boozy to get through family affairs.

Okay, so that sounds pretty cynical. Please don’t get me wrong; I love baking eggnog cookies for my other half, and snuggling up for Christmas movies in a living room magically lit by little white lights is friggin’ amazeballs — but #RealTalk for a second. At some point, after all that cozy and cutesy shit, you have to face at least one person you’d rather not. Maybe it’s your nosey Aunt; maybe it’s an entitled in-law or a prissy straight-laced cousin with a resting bitch face that does not rest. Whatever the case may be, you need something tasty, spiked and stiff AF to either a) let it slide off your back or b) bring out your best Sassmaster. (Hopefully the former, of course.)


If you dig the nostalgic essence of caramel apples, you’ll love this shiz. The kicker is that you get all of that sweetness without chipping and rotting your teeth. WIN.

In addition to that win, we have wine; we have brandy and we have caramel-infused vodka. All is right in the world. So, if you’re hosting, have a pitcher of this ready to go; if you’re visiting, act the part of bringing “punch” without letting on that it’s for selfish reasons.

Happy holidays, friends. Be safe, eat big and feel wonderful.


Caramel Apple Sangria

  • 1 750 ml bottle of red wine (suggestions: Zinfandel or Primitivo, Tempranillo, Bonarda, Garnacha and Nero d’Avola)
  • 1 cup of apple cider
  • 1 cup caramel vodka
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 tbsp Triple Sec
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (optional — I made mine with coconut palm sugar for a deeper, darker flavor)


  1. In a large bowl, toss the diced apples with ground cinnamon and transfer to the pitcher. Add the cinnamon sticks.
  2. To the pitcher, add red wine, apple cider, caramel vodka, brandy, triple sec and cooled simple syrup if you’re using it.
  3. Stir well. For best flavor, refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

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About The Author


Dana Sandonato is a coffee-reliant freelance food writer + blogger with a healthy appetite, a taste for culinary adventure, a thirst for good beers and an endless hunger for food photography. Dana is exuberant, unswerving, funny and loving with a sparkling dash of misanthropy. Dana grew up in Canada and recently relocated to the hot and sticky South — North Carolina. She’s a total sucker for bottle shops, craft breweries, Angry Orchard ciders, animals, outer space and everything 80s/90s. Her three favourite words in the entire world are, “the pizza’s here.”

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