I’m not generally a fan of declaring anything “the best”, but I’m going to make an exception for this Apple Cider Sangria. Sweet, tart, and subtly spiced with cinnamon, it’s an absolutely perfect fall sangria recipe. This cocktail easily scales up for a crowd, so make your Thanksgiving spread a little more festive and oh so delicious with this with this apple cider sangria recipe.
This knock-your-socks-off Apple Cider Sangria 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 festive fall sangria is insanely easy to make, but huge on flavor. It’s the perfect offering for your Thanksgiving spread, plus you can make it a day in advance. No last-minute shaking or stirring here!
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 Thanksgiving dreams are made of. Simply 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 fall cocktail with just 10 minutes of investment.
Video: Fall Sangria Recipe
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 crowd 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 fall 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. Apple cider sangria gets better the longer it sits, and 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.
Choosing The Best Ingredients for Fall Sangria
- 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.
My Best Tips and Tricks for Making Perfect Thanksgiving Sangria
- Select a variety of colorful seasonal produce – sweet apples, sour apples, fresh cranberries, and pomegranate seeds are all terrific choices.
- Give the sangria time to marinate for best flavor. This fall sangria is at it’s best after 24 hours, but if you’re short on time, allow it to chill for at least 4 hours.
- Use decent to good wine! It makes a huge difference in the flavor.
- Serve with a cinnamon sugar rim for an extra special festive touch.
More Fall and Thanksgiving Inspired 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
DID YOU MAKE THIS APPLE CIDER SANGRIA?!? I’D LOVE TO KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT! LEAVE A COMMENT AND A RATING BELOW 👇
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- Large Pitcher
- 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.