Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 23 – Mistletoe Sangria. Simplify holiday entertaining with a pitcher of delectable winter sangria. St-Rémy VSOP Brandy is perfect for mixing with its floral and fruity notes and subtle tones of vanilla.
This is a great standby recipe for all holiday and winter get-togethers, whether you’ve just come in from a day of skiing or are just working on the latest puzzle with your family. And, I won’t hold it against you if you find yourself returning to this recipe all year round.
This post is sponsored by St-Rémy Brandy.
You’ve likely enjoyed a St-Rémy brandy before but you may not be familiar with the distiller’s rich history. St-Rémy brandy was born of necessity and creative problem-solving. In 1886, the Rémy Martin vineyards in the Charente region of France were badly damaged by phylloxera. In search of raw materials, the very entrepreneurial Paul-Emile Rémy Martin II identified Machecoul where the “Gros Plant” grapes were similar to “Folle Blanche.” The same year, he set up a distillery to produce high-quality brandy. And so St-Rémy was born!
The St-Rémy VSOP (meaning Very Superior Old Pale) is the keystone of the St-Rémy family. It pours amber-yellow in colour with glinting golden highlights. On the nose, the alcohol notes are quickly replaced by rich fruity aromas of cherry, gooseberry and wild strawberry. Floral notes subtly blend with the woody and vanilla tones of oak. The overall impression is pleasing, harmonious and smooth.
Once you sip, you’ll discover a round and smooth palate, fruit aromas and wood combine into an oaky vanilla finish. It’s equally delicious served neat or shaken or stirred into cocktails.
Let’s backtrack for a second to “VSOP” – you’ll often find a bit of alphabet soup on brandy, cognac, and armagnac bottles. The letters featured on the label are intended to give you a better sense of what you’ll find inside the bottle, but you’ll need to speak the language before you can make meaning from it. The important thing to remember is that the letters are almost always an indication of age.
I’m linking you to an easy-to-understand article that breaks down the lingo for you in plain language. In the case of the delightful St-Rémy brandy I’m using as the backbone for this Mistletoe Sangria, the VSOP means Very Superior Old Pale – that is an indication that the youngest brandy in the blend has been aged for a minimum of four years.
You can experiment with different styles of red wine in preparing this recipe but I’m recommending Syrah thanks to its dry-yet-fruity full-bodied flavour. The finished product should yield a bright, easy-drinking cocktail with a subtle sweetness and baking spice notes shining through.
Simplify holiday entertaining with a pitcher of delectable winter sangria. St-Rémy VSOP Brandy is perfect for mixing with its floral and fruity notes and subtle tones of vanilla.
- ½ cup St-Rémy VSOP Brandy
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup nutmeg syrup
- 8 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 bottle Syrah
- Garnish: orange twist cinnamon stick, apple slice
- 1 cup demerara sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 whole nutmegs quartered
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir to combine.
Pour into stemless wine glasses over one large ice cube. Garnish each glass with an orange twist, cinnamon stick, and apple slice.
Combine sugar, water, and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, let sit at room temperature overnight for a more intense flavour.
Store syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.