Appetizers & Dips

Winter Fruit Sangria


I grew up watching my super fast-speaking, endearingly funny mother make the most fabulous sangria. It was meant for her Friday afternoon group of friends who would each take turns hosting at their homes what was then referred to as “el cafecito”. English translation: a little cup of coffee. But for Spanish people, meeting up for “a little cup of coffee” entails far more than a little cup of coffee. It encompasses traditional assorted pastries, a trifle, party sandwiches, a heaping of guacamole, nachos, sangria and at the very end, the actual coffee itself. And don’t be surprised if you stay over for dinner. Cause otherwise it wouldn’t be a “cafecito”.

It was a nice way to grow up and be introduced to the world around me. I always remember having an army of “aunties”. My mother had carved a sisterhood of friends (much like the one I have formed here in Toronto). Like myself, my mom was also an expatriate living in a foreign country. She didn’t have her family with her, so she recruited her own.

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I can vividly see her in her kitchen; feverishly slicing and dicing away at an array of fruit and mixing them with wine & a splash of good old brandy. She would make the sangria in the morning, so that it would be cold and all the flavours would have beautifully set in by the time she served it to her posse. My mother slices and dices so fast- it’s actually really scary to watch. She slices almost as fast as she talks. *Almost*. And she still has all her fingers.

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She would always say to me, “Sangria must not be flat!” I would see her emptying a can of ginger ale into the punch bowl. Sangria needs a little fizzle, a little carbonation. The subtle taste of ginger is perfect for this Holiday Sangria. You don’t have to wait until next summer to indulge in a glass of this delicious drink. I have concocted a festive version using winter fruit like oranges, pomegranates, clementines, pears or apples, some cinnamon sticks-you get the idea!

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Winter Sangria


  • 1 bottle of fruity red wine (avoid cabernet sauvignon). All whites and rosé wines work really well, too!
  • 1/2 cup of brandy
  • 1 cup of natural cranberry or pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup of natural orange juice
  • 1 can of ginger ale
  • 1 pomegranate (arils only)
  • 2 oranges sliced into circles
  • 2 apples or pears thinly sliced
  • some blueberries or cranberries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar
  • rosemary sprigs or star anise for garnish


  1. Add all the fruit and coconut sugar into a bowl or large pitcher & muddle it with a wooden spoon. Then pour in everything else.
  2. I like to have it all in a punch bowl a good 2 hours before serving & allow it to refrigerate & chill! If you need to serve it immediately, throw in some fresh ice cubes on top. Enjoy every sip!

Refrescante Sangría


  • 1 botella de vino rojo (no usar cabernet sauvignon). Todo tipo de vino blanco o rosé va muy bien con esta receta.
  • 1/2 taza de brandy
  • 1 taza de jugo de naranja natural
  • 1 taza de jugo de cranberry
  • 1 lata de soda de gengibre
  • 2 manzanas o peras cortadas en rodajas muy finas
  • 2 naranjas cortadas en rodajas (pero con cascara)
  • 1 granada (todas las semillas)
  • un poquito de arándanos
  • 2-3 palitos de canela
  • tallos de romero fresco para decorar
  • 1/3 taza de azúcar de coco (opcional)


  • Super Sencillo: Mezclar todos los ingredientes en un pichel grande o ponchera. Es mejor si se hace por lo menos unos 4 horas antes de servirla para que enfríe y todos los sabores puedan asentar.

Quiero darles las gracias a uds (mis lectores) por todo su apoyo. Les deseo una MUY Feliz Navidad con sus familiares y amigos. Que cocinen mil cosas ricas y coman muchísimo y las disfruten.. pero sobre todo; no se olviden de compartir!


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