If you’re looking for a signature fall cocktail, honeycrisp apple sangria is your answer! You’ll love the combination of red wine, brandy, our favorite fall spices, and sweet honeycrisp apples– it’s THE drink to make this season. I recommend making this big-batch cocktail ahead of time so the flavors have a chance to truly shine.
What IS it about honeycrisp apples? If it’s not their explosive crunch that reels you in, it’s their unbeatably sweet, yet tart flavor—and all that juice! These juicy apples are the star of today’s sangria recipe. We’re combining all of our favorite fall flavors into one delicious cocktail. Warning: this stuff disappears quickly!
Ingredients in Honeycrisp Apple Sangria
This is the perfect drink for chilly fall weekends. I know you’ll appreciate that it’s sweet, but not overly sugary. Rather, you’ll taste flavors of cider, citrus, cinnamon, and honeycrisp apples in each sip. I combine red wine and brandy in this recipe, but I also have a white wine version called Apple Cider Sangria.
- Red Wine: Red wine serves as the base of this sangria recipe. Any red wine that you enjoy drinking is a good choice.
- Apple Cider: Apple cider sweetens the sangria, so no additional sugar is needed. Use homemade apple cider or your favorite brand.
- Brandy, Orange Juice, & Lemon Juice: These are flavorful additions for a truly spectacular sangria. I don’t recommend leaving them out.
- Apples & Orange Slices: Tart oranges are the perfect companion to sweet apples.
- Cinnamon Sticks: When made without cinnamon sticks, I found that this apple sangria lacked the true fall flavor that only cinnamon can provide. Pick up a few extra cinnamon sticks as garnish.
- Club Soda: Add a touch of club soda right before serving. Club soda gives the honeycrisp apple sangria a little extra pop. Avoid sweetened carbonated drinks like 7-up, tonic, or sprite as these could make the sangria too sweet.
- Cinnamon + Sugar: For an optional garnish, dip the rim of each glass into a cinnamon sugar mixture. It’s an extra step that’s sparkly, sweet, and totally worth the effort!
Which red wine to use? The wine you use doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, I often use a $10-12 bottle of pinot noir. A light bodied Spanish red wine (tempranillo) would also be delicious. You can’t go wrong!
How to Make Honeycrisp Apple Sangria
Sangria is quite possibly the easiest homemade cocktail. You need less than 5 minutes to prepare a pitcher of it.
- Place fruit and cinnamon sticks in pitcher.
- Add all liquids (except for club soda).
- Let sit in refrigerator.
- Add club soda.
- Garnish with a cinnamon sugar rim.
- Sip and enjoy!
Make-Ahead Fall Cocktail
The best part about sangria is that it’s the ultimate make-ahead cocktail. It’s supposed to be made ahead of time so the flavors can balance and the fruit can infuse its juices. I recommend keeping the sangria in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours (a full day is best!) before serving. The longer the sangria sits before drinking/serving, the better. I usually make it in the morning before I need it in the evening, but making it the night before yields incredible results. If your schedule is anything like mine, fall is the busiest time of year, so this make-ahead cocktail is a welcome addition to happy hour!
Add the club soda right before serving. If added ahead of time, 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.
Other Ways to Use Honeycrisp Apples
Honeycrisp apples are a delicious addition to sangria, but if you have a few extra on hand try these recipes:
- Apple Crumble Pie
- Caramel Apples
- Apple Bundt Cake
- Apple Pie Bars (with salted caramel on top!)
- Brown Butter Apple Blondies
- Apple Crumb Cake
- Apple Pie
Cheers to cooler temperatures, crisp evenings, and apple season!Print
This sangria is THE 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-bought*
- 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 fruit* 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 Instructions: 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.
- Apple Cider: 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.
- Ice: 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.
Keywords: honeycrisp apple sangria