What better way to celebrate the Jewish New Year than with a sweetly symbolic beverage – Rosh Hashanah Sangria! This delightful drink is tasty, refreshing, and visually lovely. It will make a beautiful presentation at your Rosh Hashanah gathering. It’s also a fun way to discuss the symbolism of the holiday with your guests, because it includes many traditional Rosh Hashanah ingredients.
When creating this recipe, I wanted to include as much holiday symbolism as possible. It’s a honey sweetened beverage (in honor of a sweet new year) decorated by fresh fruit– apples, pomegranates and grapes. During Rosh Hashanah, we eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize our hope for a sweet year to come. We eat pomegranates to symbolize “new fruit” (the first of the season), as a representation of the 613 mitzvot (the fruit has 613 seeds), and to remind ourselves that our good deeds in the coming year should be plentiful. Round foods (like grapes) are also part of the holiday; they represent the cyclical nature of the year and the continuity of Creation.
This sangria is cold, bold, and delicious. My favorite part of the drink is the little pomegranate seeds; they burst on the tongue, releasing a delicious juice. Prepare it a few hours ahead of time so it has a chance to chill and marinate in the refrigerator. The fruit will soak up the drink and the flavors will develop over time. It also goes down very easily… you’ve been warned!
You can, of course, use any brand of liquor you like for this recipe. Here are the kosher certified brands that I used, just in case you’re curious. This is not an endorsement of these brands, it’s simply what I had on hand when I made this sangria:
Galil Mountain Shiraz 2007
POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice
Kedem Organic Grape Juice
Sadaf Organic Honey
Leroux Triple Sec
If you like your sangria less sweet and more on the tart side, you can leave out the triple sec and cut the honey in half. For a sparkly sangria, add 2 cups of ginger ale to the mix and stir just prior to serving.
Non-Alcoholic Version: Substitute a bottle of red/purple grape juice for the wine and omit the brandy and triple sec.
Cheers to a sweet new year!
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- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 apple, cored and sliced thin
- 12 oz. seedless grapes
- 1 bottle red wine (syrah/shiraz works well)
- 2 cups pure 100% pomegranate juice
- 1 cup grape juice
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup triple sec
You will also need
- 2.2 liter pitcher (or larger), heavy wine glasses
- Pour honey and ½ cup water into a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, till the honey is completely dissolved into the water. Do not boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. This is your honey simple syrup.
- Meanwhile, seed the pomegranate. Discard the rind and pith. For instructions, click here.
- Place the pomegranate seeds into the bottom of your pitcher.
- Place the apple slices on top of the seeds...
- ...and the grapes on top of the apple slices.
- Pour the entire bottle of red wine into the pitcher.
- Add the pomegranate juice, grape juice, brandy, triple sec, and honey simple syrup to the pitcher. Stir gently with a long handled spoon to blend all the flavors together.
- Place pitcher into the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before serving. This will allow the flavors to blend. Stir again before serving.