I’m not generally a fan of declaring anything “the best”, but I’m going to make an exception for this apple cider sangria. It’s truly the best white sangria recipe I’ve ever had! Sweet, tart, and subtly spiced with cinnamon, it’s absolutely perfect. It’s also a super simple large batch cocktail recipe that takes just a few minutes to make. Make your holidays gatherings a little easier and so delicious with this perfect apple cider sangria recipe.
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We are wrapping up the drinks portion of cocktail party week with this knock-your-socks-off apple cider sangria.
This recipe is for the lazy but festive readers. The readers who know they have to throw a party, but dread the prep work. The readers with discerning taste buds, but an even better Netflix queue that’s calling their name. Is that you? This is your cocktail!
This apple cider sangria is so easy to make, but huge on flavor. And it’s already garnished! Just pour and serve.
Fresh apple cider, apple brandy, triple sec, dry white wine, a hint of cinnamon, and diced seasonal fruit come together to form the perfectly balanced, sweet and tart cocktail your party dreams are made of. Just combine, chill overnight, and serve. No messing with cocktail shakers. No last-minute garnishes (okay, maybe a cinnamon rim and cinnastick make it fancy, but you don’t need those). Just an easy, fresh, and fabulous seasonal cocktail with just 10 minutes of investment.
How to Make Apple Cider Sangria
Sweet, tart, and subtly spiced with cinnamon, this apple cider sangria is, dare I say it, absolutely perfect. It’s an easy large batch recipe for a cocktail party with the added benefit that you have to make it in advance – and it’s better the longer it sits. Take an extra minute or two to serve this white sangria with a cinnamon sugar rim for an extra special touch.
Combine a cup of fresh cranberries with a diced sweet apple (like honeycrisp), a diced tart apple (like granny smith), and a whole cinnamon stick in a pitcher.
Add half a cup of simple syrup to the fruit, and muddle gently with a wooden spoon – just enough to crush the fruit a little and release some of their natural sugars. If you don’t have simple syrup or do not want to make it (it’s okay!), substitute with a quarter cup white sugar. The sugar will dissolve as it marinates overnight.
Add a cup of apple cider, half a cup of apple brandy, half a cup of triple sec, and a bottle of dry white white – I like sauvignon blanc for white sangria.
Stir it up, and place into the fridge to chill and marinate. Aim for at least four hours, but overnight is best. This sangria gets better the longer it sits. Personally I thought it was at peak flavor a full 24 hours later.
When you’re ready to serve, add ice to a rocks glass, fill with sangria, and garnish with a cinnamon stick to get fancy. To get even fancier, add a cinnamon sugar rim to the glass. This isn’t necessary, but it does add that extra special kick of flavor and love that comes from a hand-crafted cocktail. This sangria keeps in the fridge for about three days, but as I said above, I think it’s best after marinating for 24 hours.
Ingredients and Variations
- Choosing White Wine: select a dry white wine like sauvignon blanc, albarino, or pinot grigio. Aim for a mid-priced ($10-$15) varietal with clean, crisp flavor. When I make this for really large batches, I use the Bota Box brand of sauvignon blanc. It’s a surprisingly good wine in a box, and works incredibly well for white sangria.
- Sourcing Spirits: your local liquor store should carry both apple brandy and triple sec. You only need a half cup of each, so ask your store attendant if they offer smaller bottles (some do, some don’t). If you’re purchasing a larger bottle of triple sec and want to splurge to use it for other purposes, try Cointreau – it makes excellent margaritas.
- Apple Cider: make sure you’re purchasing unsweetened and (if you can find it) fresh-pressed and unfiltered apple cider for best flavor. Unsweetened is most important as this will be way too sweet if it’s not.
- Simple Syrup vs. Sugar: you can make this recipe with either simple syrup or sugar. To substitute sugar, add a quarter cup of white sugar to the fruit instead of the simple syrup, then gently muddle the fruit in the sugar. It will dissolve as it marinates with the remaining liquid ingredients.
- If you don’t like, or don’t want to use, cranberries, substitute an equal amount of pomegranate seeds.
More Holiday Cocktail Recipes
I’ve got ya covered with every kind of cocktail you need this holiday season. Check out these other seasonal favorites:
- Cranberry Moscow Mule
- Rosemary Vodka Gimlet
- Classic Old Fashioned
- Apple Cider Hot Toddy
- Honey Rosemary Bourbon Cocktail
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Apple Cider Sangria
Sweet, tart, and subtly spiced with cinnamon, this apple cider sangria is, dare I say it, absolutely perfect. It's an easy large batch recipe for a cocktail party with the added benefit that you have to make it in advance - and it's better the longer it sits. Take an extra minute or two to serve this white sangria with a cinnamon sugar rim for an extra special touch.
- 1 tart apple, like granny smith cored and diced into 1" pieces
- 1 sweet apple, like honeycrisp cored and diced into 1" pieces
- 1 cup fresh cranberries or pomegranate seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick plus more for garnish
- 1/2 c simple syrup or 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 c unsweetened apple cider
- 1/2 c apple brandy
- 1/2 c triple sec
- 1 bottle dry white wine, like sauvignon blanc
- 1/4 c cinnamon sugar for garnish
Place the diced apples, fresh cranberries, and cinnamon stick into a large pitcher. Add the simple syrup or sugar, and gently muddle with a wood spoon until the fruit starts to release a little of its natural juices.
Add apple cider, apple brandy, triple sec, and wine to the pitcher. Stir to combine. Place the pitcher into the fridge to chill and marinate for at least for hours, but 24 hours is best.
To serve, fill a glass with ice, and pour sangria over ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired.
To create a cinna-sugar rim, combine a quarter cup of white sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir until throughly combined. Pour the cinnamon sugar onto a small plate. Rub a piece of lemon around the lip of glass, then dip the glass into the cinnamon sugar to create a rim. Fill the glass with ice, then top with sangria, garnish with a cinnamon stick, and serve.