Nothing inspires fall more than the scent of apple cider and cinnamon in the kitchen. Learn how to prep this apple cider sangria in 15 minutes.
We always have a festive cocktail when our family gets together for Thanksgiving. One of our all time favorites is sangria! It's mild and full of warm spices and pretty much everyone loves it. We've been making this one for years!
- Pinot Grigio: I love this white wine in sangria because it has a fruity flavor with notes of pear and apple. It's not too sweet and pairs well with apple cider.
- Apple cider: any variety or brand works!
- Orange liquor: we used Triple Sec for this recipe but any orange liquor will do. A good brandy is a great option as well.
- Apple butter: this is a fun ingredient that adds more sweetness and apple flavor to the cider! The texture mixes well into the drink.
- Fresh fruit: use a mix of sliced apples, oranges and pomegranate. The fruit juices will infuse into the sangria and add even more flavor.
- Cinnamon sticks: these are easy to find in the spice section and worth it for the warm spice they add to the sangria.
- Club soda or ginger beer: I love the ginger flavor the ginger beer adds! Both are great options. Add a splash to each glass before serving.
How to Make Apple Cider Sangria
Slice and add the fruit
- Slice the oranges and apples, with the peels on, then place them in a large pitcher or punch bowl.
- Add the pomegranate seeds and cinnamon sticks to the pitcher next.
Mix the sangria
- Pour the wine, apple cider and orange liquor into the pitcher then add the apple butter and stir well until everything is combined.
Chill and serve
- Place the pitcher in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours. The longer the fruit can infuse with the sangria the better, so several hours or even overnight is great.
- Right before serving, rim your glasses with lemon and dip in cinnamon sugar. Fill them with ice and then pour the chilled sangria in 3/4 of the way full. Top them off with club soda or ginger beer and garnish with extra fruit and cinnamon sticks.
Variations and Substitutions
- Blood oranges: you can use blood oranges instead of naval oranges.
- Pears: this fall fruit would be another great addition!
- Brandy: if you prefer this or have this on hand, feel free to sub this for orange liquor.
- Star anise: add some of these fun fall spices to the sangria with the cinnamon sticks. They add depth of flavor and they look pretty!
- Red wine (Pinot Noir): turn this into a red wine sangria by using a Pinot Noir instead of Pinot Grigio.
How to make it ahead
Sangria is actually a recipe that tastes better if you make it ahead of time! The best time to make it is up to 24 hours before you're ready to serve. This is why it's so great for Thanksgiving! Prep it up to 2 days in advance to save you time.
Sangria is a cocktail that should be served chilled over ice. It's best cold, especially if it's made with white wine.
Sangria stays fresh with the fruit in it for up to 48 hours. After that the fruit will start to get a little mushy. However, you want to allow enough time for the sangria to chill and infuse with the fruit. Somewhere between 3 and 48 hours is best.
No, you can leave the peels on the apples for sangria. We also leave the peels of the oranges on. It adds more flavor!
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More fall cocktails
Apple Cider Sangria
For the sangria:
- 1 (750 ml) bottle of Pinot Grigio
- 2 1/2 cups apple cider
- 3/4 cup Triple Sec or other orange liquor
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup apple butter
- 3 honey crisp apples sliced
- 1 orange peeled and sliced
- 1-2 cups pomegranate aerils
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup club soda or ginger beer
- Cinnamon sugar for rim ,optional
- Mix all of the ingredients, except for the club soda or ginger beer, in a large pitcher. Stir and place in the fridge until chilled, at least 3 hours. You can make this up to 48 hours before serving. The longer it chills, the more the drink soaks up all the fruit flavor.
- Add club soda or ginger beer right before serving.
- When you're ready to serve, add cinnamon and sugar to a shallow bowl or plate. Rim the glasses with a lemon wedge and dip them in the cinnamon sugar the fill each glass with ice. Pour the sangria in the glasses and top with extra ginger beer or club soda if desired.