Apple Cider Sangria

We've been brainstorming our Thanksgiving menu for about a week now. I'm all about equality and I like to give each holiday its deserved time but as soon as the holiday is over, it's onto the next one. This is a lot easier during the first three-quarters of the year, since the big holidays are more spread apart. But, from autumn into winter, we've got Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve to give evenly divided attention to.

So, as soon as Halloween was over and I packed away this years costumes, I was right onto Thanksgiving. The past few years, we've been serving white wine sangrias as the official T-Giving cocktail. This year, I wanted to try something a bit more autumnal and thematic so I tried my hand at an apple cider sangria. And it came out so delicious and I can't wait to make a gigantic batch in a couple weeks for the biggest feast of the year.
2 apples, chopped
1 orange, chopped
knob ginger
cinnamon stick
1 cup Calvados (French apple brandy)
3 cups apple cider
750 mL sparkling white wine (I like Moscato)

As with all sangrias, it's a boringly simple assembly. The real work happens on its own as the punch sits in the fridge, melding and developing in flavor. If you have the time to assemble this a day or two before you're ready to serve, I would highly recommend it. Just add all of the ingredients, minus the sparkling wine, and leave to soak in the fridge. When you're ready to serve, pour in the sparkling wine (to preserve the bubbles) and then serve ice cold.

Otherwise, assemble and serve immediately. Honestly, sometimes it's nice to have bursts of fresh fruit instead of booze-soaked fruit. I said, "sometimes."
If you're looking for a cheeky little garnish, slice an apple crosswise (along its equator) and push out the seeds. Make a little slit and then tuck onto the serving glass.
For posterity, rub with an orange wedge. This will thwart the oxidation of the apple flesh. The fresher the apple (these were super fresh, as in picked off the tree less than 24 hours prior to this photoshoot), the less oxidation. Now, I'm not saying you need to go apple picking, but it's a great excuse.
Okay, so to make the sangria, take an apple and chop it into little chunks. I like to cut into eight wedges, cut out the core, and then roughly chop into bite-sized pieces. Similarly, I cut the orange into eight wedges and then I slice up the wedges into little triangles. I leave the rinds on for flavor and presentation.
Then, the apple, oranges, and ice go into a pitcher along with the ginger, cinnamon stick, apple cider and Calvados. Once the mixture has sufficiently soaked to my liking, it gets topped off with bubbly sweet white wine.
To serve, garnish the glasses with the apple slices, pop in some fruit, and then pour in the sangria. And then all that's left to do is 'Cheers!' and guzzle. Seriously, this goes down so easily. It's fruity and crisp but also really warm from the apple brandy. And the cinnamon stick and ginger give it a good kick of spice, which kicks up the autumnal vibe. It's honestly the perfect Thanksgiving drink so give it a go. And you know, once it's really chilly out, I reckon a warmed up version of this would be rather nice, kind of like a funky mulled wine/cider; it's especially nice thinking about how lovely it'll scent the whole house.


  1. Sounds really good! What would you think of using a hard cider?

    1. I don't see why you couldn't! The boozier, the better, right?


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