Fall is in the air and summer has left the building. I used to think that once the days got colder and the nights got longer, sangria (my drink of choice) was a thing of the past, not to be enjoyed again until the weather warmed up. That is, until I discovered Apple Cider Sangria.
Truthfully, you can craft a sangria for any season. There’s spring sangria with peaches and strawberries and Granny Smith apples. There’s summer sangria like the one I make for Cinco de Mayo with apples and blueberries. In the winter, I love a cranberry and orange sangria. So of course, the best kind of sangria for the fall weather would be an apple cider sangria.
The Best Thing About Sangria?
It’s so simple to make. Even a monkey could make it. Hence why it’s one of my specialty recipes. I’ve been playing around with a basic recipe for years now, adjusting it to the ingredients of the season.
Everyone makes sangria different—I honestly believe that homemade sangria, especially this apple cider sangria, is far superior to anything you’re going to get in a restaurant. In fact, I had an apple cider sangria when we went out the other night and it was NOTHING like the homemade one I made tonight. I think restaurants skimp on the ingredients…especially the fruit. I love my sangria chock full o’ fruit. Look at this apple cider sangria I got at the restaurant. One pitiful slice of apple in it:
And I barely tasted the cider. The apple cider sangria I make is full of fruit AND flavor.
Wine is Always the Base
I use a cheaper Pinot Grigio for the apple cider sangria. When it comes to sangria, expensive wines are NOT the way to go. The type of wine you use depends on the type of sangria you are making. Check out this awesome article by Food & Wine. They break down the reasoning behind the wine types much better than I ever could.
Then Add the Other Alcohol to the Apple Cider Sangria
I like ginger brandy for the “colder weather” sangrias. Add 6 oz of ginger brandy. Some people will include other alcohols like apple vodka or a spiced rum, but I think the ginger brandy does the trick.
Then add 8 oz of Sprite and apple cider. Combine with 6 oz of orange juice, apple slices (Honeycrisp apples are the BEST), orange slices, and cinnamon sticks. Chill for at least an hour (this helps the fruit and cinnamon flavor seep into the sangria). Pour and enjoy!