Seasonal sangria

hollie-368

Although it did not go exactly as planned, my Thanksgiving went off without a hitch.

My in-laws arrived late Wednesday night, which gave me a few hours to prepare some of the dishes ahead of time. I was successfully able to boil eggs for deviled eggs, make the turkey roll-ups (better known as ham roll-ups) and peel and slice potatoes.

I woke up early Thanksgiving Day morning refreshed and ready to conquer the bird. When I walked into the kitchen to start preparing, I was welcomed to Mom- and Dad-in-law whipping up side dishes, preheating the oven and starting to create some of the appetizers. I jokingly asked, “Do you mean to tell me, you traveled 12 hours, just to cook us dinner?”

Their parental instinct must have kicked in, because once they saw all of the ingredients set out, they went down the list and tackled each dish. Although I was a tad disappointed that I wasn’t going to “wow” everyone with my Hollie Homemaker cooking skills, it was kind of a relief that I get a pass for another year – although I insisted that I got to prepare the turkey rub.

Instead of the cornucopia of foods, I opted to prepare the holiday drink. I wanted to do something festive and that would ease the first-time awkwardness that comes with each side of the family meeting each other for the first time. I was attempting to bond them by wine. Success! Bonus: it tasted great!

If your options are limited, but still want to contribute to a holiday party – be it Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. –  go for a creative concoction. My secret weapon: Apple Cider Sangria.

What you need:

  • One bottle of pinot grigio (standard size)
  • 2½ cups of apple cider
  • 1½ cups of club soda (or ginger ale)
  • ¾ cup of ginger brandy
  • Fresh apples and/or pears
  • Cinnamon sticks

What you do:

  • Chill all of liquid prior to making the drink.
  • Add the wine and cider at the same time. Pour the soda in after.
  • Slice the apples and pears into small chunks and add to mixture.
  • Let the drink set in a cool area (either refrigerator or outside depending on the temperature).
  • When chilled, ladle the sangria into a wine glass. Add a cinnamon stick if desired.

Enjoy!

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