Can you throw Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd and still hold to your budget? Of course. Holiday meals on a budget never have to feel stingy. But what about drinks? Wine can break a small budget.
Let us show you our super-budget, super-awesome sangria, trimmed out for your Thanksgiving table. You'll want a sip of this.
Sangria is the perfect drink for Thanksgiving. It’s easy to make (just mix and pour); it looks gloriously festive, decked out with fruit; and everyone loves it.
This simple sangria is also budget-friendly. You’re stretching your wine with less expensive ingredients – in this case, tonic water. And when you’re cramming in so much fruit and fizzy water, let’s be real – you don’t need to use fancy wine. I used a $4 wine from the grocery store, and it was delicious.
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This tastes light, fresh and fizzy, with plenty of fruit juices released in an overnight rest in the refrigerator. (That part is important; don’t skip it.) The tonic water lends a little bite of bitterness to the wine and the sweetness of the fruit, making a sippable drink that goes all-too-well with turkey and potatoes.
▪ Look for an inexpensive red wine that has a little sweetness. Skip the cheap cabernet and reach instead for tempranillo from Spain, or garnacha or zinfandel.
▪ One orange and apple will give you two batches, to serve 10.
▪ Depending on how cheap your wine is, two batches can easily come in under $10. Not bad for serving a crowd.
Super Budget Thanksgiving Sangria
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 orange, sliced
1/2 large apple, sliced
1 bottle inexpensive red wine, such as garnacha, zinfandel or tempranillo
3 cups tonic water, chilled
Muddle the cranberries in a 64-ounce (or larger) pitcher, using the back of a spoon to crush and smash them against the sides of the pitcher. Add the orange and apple slices and muddle. Pour in the wine and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, stir in tonic water. Serve cold.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.