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Cranberry Chai Sangria. {Video!}

What a doozy of a week! I’m virtually passing you a glass of cranberry chai sangria.

When my cousin Lacy and I were young (like younger than tweens), we used to try and “pass food through the phone” to each other. We are talking through a landline of course, and you know how phones have the little speaker holes on them? Yes, they’d be filled with crushed food. Not joking.

We were absolutely convinced that we could taste things through the phone. Things like french vanilla cereal (I wish I remembered the name because that stuff was freaking good), watermelon jolly ranchers and some flavors of snapple, which yes, is exactly what you are thinking: a nightmare.

Anyhoo, that’s why I’m trying to pass you a cocktail through the internet. Good stuff.

YES. Cranberry CHAI. Our thirsty Thursdays continue in the warmest, most tipsy way.

It’s embarrassingly obvious that chai has been the flavor that I’ve lost my mind over this season. In fact, for the last year. That’s neither here nor there since I constantly talk about it, but oh man was I ever so determined to put it in a boozy sangria and MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Spoiler alert! I made it happen.

It’s super simple too. I infused cranberry juice with chai tea bags as opposed to including my favorite spice mixture. I almost added a few pretty star anise pieces into the sangria too… but then I added one to my glass and accidentally bit down on it and almost lost a tooth. Not worth it pals. The tea bags are ideal.

Into a big pitcher goes some pinot noir, chai drenched cranberry juice, ginger brandy, citrus seltzer and a ton of fruit.

Side bar: why are the insides of cranberries so weird? Gives me flashbacks.

So what exactly is the difference between this cranberry chai sangria and the eerily similar looking pomegranate punch I shared last week? The fruit! Of course.

Super helpful, Jess. I KNOW.

But really.

The pomegranate punch is fruity based and tastes a bit sweet – more juice-like. Even though it’s made with a seasonal fruit, the flavor is so fantastic that it would work in the summer too.

Whereas this cranberry chai sangria is a bit spicier, a bit warmer. The chai tea flavors infused the sangria in the loveliest way. It totally depends on the mood you’re in. Are you a fruity drink person or a spicy drink person? This almost reminds me of mulled wine in a way.

Either way, it’s fall in a glass and I don’t hate it.

Cranberry Chai Sangria

5 from 3 votes
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  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 1 standard (750 mL bottle of pinot noir)
  • 1 cup citrus flavored seltzer
  • 1/2 cup ginger brandy
  • 2 apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick, plus extra for garnish


  • Heat the cranberry juice in a sauce pan over low heat until it almost simmers. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Steep for 15 minutes, then taste and see if it’s chai-spiced enough. You can always repeat the process with a new tea bag!
  • Add the apples, pears, cranberries and orange slices to the bottom of a pitcher with a cinnamon stick and pour all of the ingredients overtop – the juice, wine, seltzer and brandy. Stir well and if desired, let sit for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Fill a glass with ice and orange slices. Pour the sangria over top and garnish with some of the fruit and a couple of cinnamon sticks.

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