Thanksgiving Brings... A New Delicious Recipe From Grandma Elsie's Kitchen!

Posted by David Grossman on Wed, Nov 13, 2019

Looking for a festive way to entertain during the holiday season (or anytime during the year)? Try this easy-to-make recipe that delivers just the right amount of sweetness, fresh fruit and baking spices to brighten any gathering of friends or family. It’s the addition of Grandma Elsie’s Famous Spices that gives the sangria a holiday twist. You can even make it ahead of time – adding the sparkling water and ice just before serving. For those of you who aren't familiar with our tradition and Grandma Elsie, click here.


Grandma Elsie's Holiday Sangria


  • ½ medium apple, cut into ½-inch pieces with skin attached
  • ½ medium orange, cut into ½-inch pieces with skin attached
  • 1 small bunch seedless table grapes
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup of brandy
  • 1 tablespoon Grandma Elsie’s Famous Spices
grandma-elsies-famous-spices-800GET THE SPICE MIX RECIPE
  • Juice from one-half lemon
  • 1 750 ml bottle of dry Spanish red wine (Tempranillo or other wine from Rioja)
  • 1 cup of sparkling water
  • 3 cups of cubed ice


Put fruit, orange juice and brandy in a pitcher and muddle the ingredients. Add Grandma Elsie’s spice mix, lemon juice, red wine, sparkling water and ice to the pitcher and stir to combine ingredients. Pour into glasses and make sure to spoon a variety of fruit into each glass.

Variations on a theme:

Grandma Elsie would never want you to get stuck in a rut. Here are some ways you can modify the recipe to take advantage of ingredients you have on hand:

  • Try using rum or triple sec instead of brandy. Rum will make the sangria sweeter.
  • Replace the sparkling water with club soda or sparkling wine.
  • Consider other fruits you may have on hand: Pears, kiwis, or frozen blackberries or cherries.
  • Use lime juice instead of lemon juice to add a bit more tropical tartness.


A special thanks to Brad Whitworth and Peg Champion from Grandma Elsie’s West Coast Test Kitchen for sharing this recipe with us.

—David Grossman

Learn how to make Grandma Elsie’s Famous Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, famous spices and other time honored recipes from her kitchen—click the image below to access her Official Recipe Book (for free!).

Grandma Elsie Recipe Book

    About leadercommunicator blog

    Leadership and communications expert, David Grossman shares high-level tips on leadership effectiveness, internal communications, employee engagement, and a variety of other topics on the minds of leaders and communicators.

    Subscribe Here!


    8 Ways to Lead With Heart ebook
    12 Tips for Employers to navigate the future world of work
    David Grossman - The Relationship Between Corporate Culture and Performance in the WSJ