It wouldn’t be the High Holidays without a cold pitcher of my Rosh Hashanah Sangria! Celebrate the Jewish new year with this sweetly symbolic beverage, featuring several traditional holiday ingredients. A sweet drink for a sweet new year. Shana Tova!
Symbolic Foods for Rosh Hashanah
When creating this recipe, I wanted to include as much holiday symbolism as possible. It’s a honey sweetened beverage decorated with 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).
Pomegranates represent the 613 mitzvot – the fruit has 613 seeds. Additionally, pomegranates remind us 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.
How to Make Rosh Hashanah Sangria
This sangria is cold, bold, and delicious. 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 flavors will develop over time. My favorite part of the drink is the little pomegranate seeds; they burst on the tongue, releasing their delicious juice.
Warning – this goes down very easily!
Use any brands of liquor you prefer in this recipe. If you’re keeping kosher for the holiday (or just in general), be sure to choose kosher certified liquors. I’ve included a mocktail version and some other variations in the notes below.
Cheers to a sweet new year!
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Rosh Hashanah Sangria
2 hours 15 minutes
Sweetly symbolic sangria recipe for the High Holidays with red wine, pomegranate juice, apple, grapes and honey. Shana Tova!
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 apple, cored and sliced thin
- 12 oz seedless grapes
- 750 mL red wine (syrah/shiraz works well) (1 bottle)
- 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
Modifications: 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 (you can also omit the honey simple syrup - you'll have one less symbolic ingredient in the mix). For a sparkly sangria, add 2 cups of ginger ale to the mix and stir just prior to serving.
Non-Alcoholic Mocktail Version: Substitute a bottle of red/purple grape juice for the wine and omit the brandy and triple sec. Use kosher grape juice if keeping kosher.
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.