While sangria might conjure up thoughts of summer days, it only takes a few tweaks to transition this punch to fall. Traditionally, sangria is made with red wine, orange juice, liquor (typically brandy or rum) and a mix of fresh fruit. In this apple cider sangria recipe, we combine fresh apple cider, white wine, brandy, cinnamon and fresh fruit to make the perfect drink for a crisp and cool autumn day.
How to Make Apple Cider Sangria
This recipe makes 6 servings.
2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces2/3 cup pomegranate arils2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for serving1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice2-1/2 cups fresh apple cider1/2 cup brandy1 750-ml bottle white wine (sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio)1 can ginger beer, for serving
Step 1: Add the fruit
In a pitcher, combine the chopped apple and pomegranate arils. Top with two whole cinnamon sticks.
Editor’s Tip: Look for pre-packaged pomegranate arils in the refrigerated produce section in most grocery stores, or opt to save some money by buying a whole pomegranate and removing the seeds yourself.
Step 2: Pour in the liquid ingredients
Add the orange juice, apple cider, brandy and white wine to the pitcher. Stir a few times with a long-handled spoon.
Step 3: Chill in the refrigerator
Chill the sangria in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together.
Step 4: Garnish and serve
Pour sangria into your preferred glassware, being sure that each serving gets some of the fresh fruit. (Depending on your pitcher spout, you may need to spoon some fruit into each glass.) Top each serving with a splash of ginger beer to add a little fizz and warm spice flavor. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick and serve.
Editor’s Tip: Stemless wine glasses are ideal for serving sangria. Planning to serve your apple cider sangria around a bonfire? We love these wine tumblers for outdoor drinking.
Apple Cider Sangria Variations
Switch up the fruit: Other options for fresh fruit in apple cider sangria include diced pears, quartered lemon, lime or orange wedges and frozen cranberries.Use red wine: This sangria can also be made with red wine instead of white wine. Spanish reds like garnacha or rioja work well in this recipe, as would a red blend.Rim each glass with cinnamon sugar: Combine cinnamon and sugar on a small plate. Rub the rim of each glass with an orange wedge. Then dip or roll the edge of the glass in the cinnamon sugar.
Tips for Making Cider Sangria
What’s the best white wine for sangria?
A crisp, dry white wine is best in this recipe. Look for white wines with tasting notes that include apple, pear or citrus flavors. Sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio and albario are all delicious options. Sangria is not the place to use your finest wine; nor should you use the cheap stuff. A mid-price white wine that you enjoy drinking on its own is great to use in this recipe.
Can I use apple juice instead of cider?
It really is best to use apple cider. It has a richer, more apple-y flavor and is less sweet than apple juice.
What are the best apples to use for this sangria?
While this recipe calls for Honeycrisp apples, you can use your favorite variety. Granny Smith, gala and Golden Delicious are all tasty choices.
How long does apple cider sangria last?
Any leftover sangria should be kept in the refrigerator and is best consumed within 2-3 days.
Can you make apple cider sangria ahead of time?
Yes! Apple cider sangria can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
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