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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.

honeycrisp apple sangria with a cinnamon stick in a glass with the rim dipped in cinnamon sugar

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!

honeycrisp apples and cinnamon sticks

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.

  1. Red Wine: Red wine serves as the base of this sangria recipe. Any red wine that you enjoy drinking is a good choice.
  2. Apple Cider: Apple cider sweetens the sangria, so no additional sugar is needed. Use homemade apple cider or your favorite brand.
  3. Brandy, Orange Juice, & Lemon Juice: These are flavorful additions for a truly spectacular sangria. I don’t recommend leaving them out.
  4. Apples & Orange Slices: Tart oranges are the perfect companion to sweet apples.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

honeycrisp apple sangria in glasses

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.

  1. Place fruit and cinnamon sticks in pitcher.
  2. Add all liquids (except for club soda).
  3. Combine.
  4. Let sit in refrigerator.
  5. Add club soda.
  6. Garnish with a cinnamon sugar rim.
  7. Sip and enjoy!
overhead image of a pitcher of honeycrisp apple sangria

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.

honeycrisp apple sangria in glasses

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:

Cheers to cooler temperatures, crisp evenings, and apple season!

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honeycrisp apple sangria with a cinnamon stick in a glass with the rim dipped in cinnamon sugar

Honeycrisp Apple Sangria

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: serves 6-8 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: American


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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!


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hiya Sally!
    This looks amazing and I’m definitely aiming to make this on Thanksgiving for my family!
    Is there a particular brandy that you used or prefer with this? I’m not much of a brandy gal so I need a little help in this department!
    Thank you for this awesome recipe!

    1. Hey Charity! I am NOT a huge expert in brandy either. I just went with my local alcohol store’s recommendation. I use E&J VSOP Brandy– pretty affordable for a small bottle. The only time I use this bottle is for sangria.

  2. Love your blog! I was wondering, when substituting white wine in this recipe does everything else stay the same? Is it still the same amount of brandy needed?
    Thanks for the help!

    1. Yep, everything else including the brandy can stay exactly the same. My friend prefers it with white wine, but I favor red. Let me know how you like it!

  3. Can I make this two days prior to serving? Can I make it on a Tuesday afternoon to serve on a Thursday afternoon or is that sitting too long?

  4. Sangria is so “forgiving”. Just about any wine, brandy, fruit, fruit  juice, or fizzy drink will do ( those are the 5 basic ingredients for Sangria). This particular recipe plays off Autumn flavors, and is wonderful! I’m sipping a glass now as a treat for having made-ahead 2 batches for Turkey Day, tomorrow, and I used my own, homemade wine for a personal touch ( a Syrah-Zin blend). Feel free to play around with variations on the basics, but just know the result will be slightly different than Sally’s intended outcome. At any rate, you won’t end up with something “yucky” just because you used sparkling cider stead of club soda,  cab instead of Tempranillo, or cranberry juice instead or orange juice. I do advise tasting for sweetness, though, and adjusting with sugar/ sweetener to taste. 

  5. Amazing! Made this for a Halloween Party tonight and it’s great. I thought I had messed it up because I used alcoholic apple cider which makes it a little more boozy and less sweet, but I adjusted with brown sugar and a bit more orange juice and it’s worked out nicely! 

  6. Hello Sally,
    Is it imperative to use unfiltered apple cider? I accidentally bought filtered.

    1. Unfiltered tastes much better– I find filtered tastes like apple juice! Keeping that in mind, you can absolutely use filtered.

  7. This looks amassing! What specific sweetener would you recommend? And is there a brand of apple cider you find tastier?

    1. I don’t add sweetener. For the apple cider, it depends where you live. But not unfiltered versions are refrigerated. Trader Joes makes a delicious one!

  8. I have made this 4 times over the last year so I figure it’s tine to comment 😉 I lovelovelove this recipe. I like to add extra orange slices, and I always use Tempranillo for the wine. Thank you for this gem of a recipe! 

    1. Hi Emily! I actually haven’t tried it, but I don’t see any issues preparing it that way.

  9. The club soda to taste, are you pouring it into the entire batch of sangria or per cup as it’s being served. Any recommendation on how much club soda? Thanks!

    1. Hi Tara! I typically pour the club soda into each glass when serving; just a splash in each glass for some delicious fizz.

  10. Hi sally! I have made your sangria soooo many times over the last couple of years because i love it so much! I even convinced my sister to let me prepare some for her wedding! How many days in advance do you think I can make this?

    Thank you! 🙂

    1. Hi Kathy! What a wonderful wedding cocktail. For the best taste, I recommend making it 2-3 days in advance. Add the fruit up to 1 day in advance and the club soda right before serving.

  11. Do you personally like the red or white apple cider sangria better? I can’t decide which one to make for a Thanksgiving potluck!

    1. Hi Lindsey! I love the red version, but the general population usually sways towards white sangria. (In my experience serving both at parties!) You may want to try that one!

  12. When tripling or doubling the recipe, how many cinnamon sticks should I use? I tripled them once when made before and I thought it was a little too much cinnamon.

    1. Hi Jaclyn! Feel free to reduce the cinnamon sticks if it was too strong last time. Maybe 6 total for a triple recipe would be better for your batch.

  13. I want to make this but my friend is allergic to lemon:( Can I leave the lemon out or replace with another fruit?

    1. Hi Karen, you can simply omit the lemon juice. No other changes needed!

  14. I loved this recipe so much..
    I actually made it 4years ago for my sister’s 30th bday and oh boy.. it vanished within minutes.
    I think i actually quadrupled the recipe.. so..
    I used the Sangria wine from Kirkland (Costco) and Apple cider from Farmer’s Market.
    Making this again in a week!!

  15. The best sangria! I love that it’s not overly sweet. We love red wine and it’s nice to find a fun variation from traditional red wine sangria.

  16. Just made this recipe last evening for our Oktoberfest neighborhood party. Let it muddle overnight and I used plan old Brady, not flavored. The cinnamon stick gave it a great little spiced flavor. Loved it!

  17. What is your favorite red wine to add with this? I don’t like red wine very much so I’m not familiar with them but oddly enough I love red sangrias when I order them out. Thank you!

    1. Hi Ashley, we often reach for a pinot noir (usually just a cheaper $10-12 bottle!) or a light bodied Spanish red wine (tempranillo) would also be delicious. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy!

  18. I made this for our pumpkin carving party and it was a hit! I doubled the recipe and used the Cherry Blossom red wine from Trader Joe’s

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