This sangria is THEE drink to make this fall. It combines red wine, brandy, cinnamon, apple cider, citrus, and of course – sweet honeycrisp apples!
I heard most of you love honeycrisp apples as much as I do. First bite usually results in borderline honeycrisp obsession. You soon become a complete apple snob, turning your nose up at any other variety. Except maybe Pink Lady (yessssss). And then you hoard honeycrisps the moment they pop up every September, which leaves you broke. But it’s all very worth it because… honeycrisps.
What IS it about honeycrisps? If it’s not their explosive crunch that reels you in, it’s their unbeatably sweet yet sorta tart flavor. Oh, and all that juice. The juiciest of apples! They make one fine addition to a pitcher of sangria. And heck, they even make beer with honeycrisp apples.–> have you tried that? It’s quite sweet, but so good.
Back to that sangria. I’m a firm believer in sangria. All the times I’ve served it, no one turns it down. It’s easy to drink glass after glass of this stuff. Plus, it’s pretty. This version of sangria packs all the flavors you love about fall in a wine glass. Or if you’re like me, a solo cup because all the wine glasses are dirty from this photo shoot.
It’s the perfect cocktail for your chilly weekends ahead. Each glass explodes with flavors of cider, citrus, cinnamon, and honeycrisp apples. Here I chose to use a light bodied Spanish red wine (Tempranillo) for this sangria because (1) it’s the kind my sangria expert sis-in-law taught me to use and (2) red wine + brandy is tasty.
Which wine to use?
The wine you use doesn’t have to be fancy schmancy. Truly, any red wine that you enjoy drinking is a good choice. Personally? I often use a $10-12 bottle of Pinot Noir the most in red sangria. And yes! You can absolutely make this with white wine too.
This autumn-inspired sangria is sweet, but not too sweet. The apple cider sweetens the sangria up, so no additional sugar is really needed. Use your favorite apple cider brand.
Sangria tip: Make the sangria ahead of time so the flavors can balance and the fruit can infuse its juices. That’s the most important part! I usually make it in the morning before I need it in the evening. A taste before work starts the day off on the right foot, am I right? Or you can make it the night before. Anywhere from 6-24 hours is perfect. Sangria gets better and better as it sits.
Add the club soda right before serving. Any time before that, the soda will lose its fizz. This addition will give the sangria a little pop and brighten everything up; the sangria tastes like it’s missing something without it. I would avoid drinks like 7-up, tonic, or sprite which could make the sangria too sweet. You can always add a spoonful of sugar right before serving if you think the sangria needs it.
Bottoms up, fall lovers!
Honeycrisp Apple Sangria
This sangria is THEE drink to make this fall. It combines red wine, brandy, cinnamon, apple cider, citrus, and of course - sweet honeycrisp apples! I highly suggest doubling the recipe because everyone will want more than 1 glass.
- 3 cinnamon sticks (plus more for garnish)
- 2 honeycrisp apples, chopped
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine (I suggest a light-bodied Spanish variety)
- 1 and 3/4 cups homemade apple cider or store-bought1
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup orange juice (or juice from 2 medium oranges)
- juice from 1 lemon
- club soda, to taste
- Place the cinnamon sticks, apples, and orange slices in a large pitcher. Add wine, apple cider, brandy, orange juice, and lemon juice. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 6 - 24 hours. Taste; if you'd like it to be sweeter, add 1-2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, honey, or agave.
- If you'd like a cinnamon-sugar rim (highly recommended), simply moisten the rim of your glasses with water, turn the glass upside down and dip it into a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Pour in the sangria with fruit2 and add a splash of club soda (this unsweetened fizz is wonderful with the sangria!). Garnish with a cinnamon stick, if desired. Cheers!
- Make ahead tip: Sangria is the perfect make-ahead cocktail since it must sit for at least 6 hours. You can also make it one day in advance.
- Use a sweetened, unfiltered version of apple cider. Make your own homemade apple cider and use it here! Or buy an unfiltered version from the store-- it will be in the refrigerator section of your grocery store.
- Feel free to add ice to your glasses of sangria. Don't add it directly to the pitcher - this waters the sangria down. Which, clearly, we don't want.
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