How to Make Passover Sangria

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

As it turns out, several Passover staples form the perfect base for sangria. (Paul Rich Studio/Shutterstock)

Last night marked the first night of Passover, which commemorates the freedom of the Jews from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Around the world, Jewish families sat down to take part in Seder, a traditional dinner with prayers, rituals, matzo, and lots of wine. During Passover, Jews are supposed to consume four glasses of wine as they recall the plight of their ancestors. But as it turns out, several other Passover staples form the perfect base for sangria.

At least that's what Dan Pashman, host of the Sporkful Podcast, says.

"Passover is a drinking holiday," he says. "It dawned on me one year when I was looking at the Seder plate and the food there. I was thinking we have this Manischewitz wine, which is sweetened red wine—it's like sickeningly sweet. We have Charoset, which is typically chopped apples and nuts meant to symbolize the mortar that the Jews used to build the pyramids. And then I see these other fruits and things on table, and I'm thinking: 'We're like two-thirds of the way to sangria here. Let's just fill in the gaps.'"

Below is Pashman's recipe to fill in the gaps, though he warns to go easy because Manischewitz wine is so sweet that it can lead to a nasty hangover, for which he prescribes his favorite college remedy: Plenty of greasy food and water.



1 bottle (750 ml) Concord grape Manischewitz

1 cup kosher for Passover calvados or brandy

3 cups Charoset 

¼ cup fresh lemon juice 

¼ cup fresh lime juice  

Pinch salt

4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices fresh horseradish, a.k.a. Maror (optional)

Seasonal Fruits (optional)

Orange, grapefruit, or tangerine, peeled and segmented

Kiwi, peeled and quartered

Cherries, pitted and halved



Combine everything in large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 48 hours. Serve in wine glasses filled with ice cubes. This recipe makes about 1 ½ quarts of pure bliss, guaranteed to bring peace and harmony to your family’s holiday gathering. Tweak it to your liking and remember, while it is kosher for Passover, it’s not just for Jews. In fact, you may find that it pairs well with a salty Easter ham.



Dan Pashman

Produced by:

Allie Ferguson


T.J. Raphael

Comments [5]

I agree with Larry - it seemed like a reasonable, seasonal lighthearted piece to me?

Apr. 19 2014 12:43 PM
Allyson Grey from Wappinger, NY

The comments by Dan Pashman, were ill-informed and intentionally insulting toward Passover and Passover food. The Torah never says that Jews built pyramids in Egypt, as Mr. Pashman stated (and is written above). The book of Exodus tells that Jews made mud bricks for the extensive walls that surround the temples in Egypt, brick walls that are still very present and can be seen sagging after 3,000 years around Egypt's most exquisite and precious sites. The most funded contemporary archeological project by National Geographic clearly shows that the armies of artisans that build the pyramids were conscripted by every town, bringing the strongest young men to build and live at the base of the Great Pyramids.
They ate meat and baked goods and lived in labor communities, no doubt proud to create for their Pharaoh.
As a Reformed Jew myself (an American Jewish movement) and an interfaith minister of a recognized church, I annually enjoy Passover with many friends, wonderful food and discussions of the meaning of liberation in our own lives. I also have made several trips to Egypt and love the Egyptian people to whom this perpetration is hurtful. There is no need to malign the holiday, insult sweet wine, a traditional holiday food, and misinform an already misinformed public. Coming directly after the news of a murdering Jew hater, this spot was particularly galling. Thanks for reading.

Apr. 15 2014 04:59 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Some strange comments today on the segment. I might need a fifth glaas of sangria or just a fifth of something stronger

Apr. 15 2014 04:44 PM

ugh, WNYC is so jewish central I'm debating ending my sustaining membership. WAKE UP WNYC, YOUR AUDIENCE IS MORE THAN NYC JEWS.

Apr. 15 2014 03:05 PM
ML from Miami FL

Mmmm! A delicious sangria to commemorate the deaths of thousands of Egypt's first born. A macabre drink for a macabre celebration.

Apr. 15 2014 10:17 AM

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