As far as sangria goes, it can't get easier than this. Chop some fruit, add some flavorings, pour some wine, and enjoy! But this recipe's not just good for indulging — it has some healthy benefits, too. Drinking red wine in moderation (one drink per day for women, two for men) may help protect the heart and control cholesterol levels Red wine: a drink to your heart. Mohamed Saleem TS, Darbar Basha S. Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research, 2010 Oct-Dec:1(4):171-176. Grape seed and red wine polyphenol extracts inhibit cellular cholesterol uptake, cell proliferation, and 50lipoxygenase activity. Leifert WR, Abeywardena MY. Nutirtion Research, 2008 Dec;28(12):842-50. Favorable effects of berry consuption on platelet function, blood pressure, and HDL cholesterol. Erlund I, Koli R, Alfthan G, et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008 Feb;87(2):323-31. . Plus both the wine and super-fruits in this rescipe are packed with antioxidants, which help protect against free radical damage. Cheers!

Recipe: Easy Holiday Sangria

Holiday Sangria

What You'll Need:

1 pomegranate, seeded
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 pears
1/2 cup apple vodka or apple brandy (optional)
2 small apples — one red, one green
1 1/2 bottles red wine (Cabernet or Red Zinfandel work well)
2 cups ginger ale
1-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large pitcher/medium bowl (for serving)

What to Do:

  1. Core the apple and pear, and chop into bite-sized pieces.
  2. If using the apple vodka or brandy: Soak apple chunks in vodka or brandy for up to a few hours for an extra-boozy treat!
  3. Combine the pear, apple (soaked or not), and cranberries in the pitcher or bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Add pomegrante seeds, ginger chunks, and cinnamon on top.
  5. Add wine, and stir to combine. If you have time, let sit for 2-3 hours.
  6. Just before serving, add the ginger ale and stir gently to distribute.
  7. To serve, scoop out some fruit into each cup before filling. Enjoy!
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