This sangria with cider is a fruity, apple-flavored wine punch that takes 10 minutes to assemble and lasts for hours, making it perfect for fall and winter gatherings and the holiday table. The ingredients are few and straightforward; I add variations for a more intricate-flavored sangria.
We love this quick, easy cocktail (similar to wine punch), which is perfect for cool days, lazy Fall weekends and holiday parties.
The work is minimal, and the results are fresh, fruity, and boozy.
Why make apple sangria
- Very easy to make: cutting fruits and mixing liquids in a pitcher. That's all the work needed to make a fabulous apple cider sangria.
- Crowd-pleaser: it's refreshing and perfect for cool weather. When feeding a large party, we double or triple this recipe and use a glass drink dispenser to serve it.
- Make ahead: the fruit will macerate more with every passing hour, but you can make sangria up to 12 hours before serving it. A few hours ahead is recommended to allow the flavors to meld.
- Versatile: though some types of fruit are a no-brainer, like apples, you can customize the rest using other Fall fruits and liqueurs.
What kind of white wine is best for apple cider sangria?
A dry and crisp white wine is better for apple sangria than a late harvest or sweeter one (like a riesling). But it's a matter of personal taste. You'll be sweetening the drink, so we recommend Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Experiment with your favorite ones and adjust the sweetener to your taste.
How long should sangria soak? Should I make sangria the night before?
Though sangría is made up to 12 hours before serving, you can serve it almost immediately. It won't have the fruity flavor it acquires after hours of fruit slices macerating, but it'll still be a great wine drink. Find your own sweet and fruity spot. You shouldn't stop making it because you don't have hours to let it stand.
Is apple cider sangria better with white or red wine?
I'm partial to white wine to let the apple cider shine, but some people use red wine. Both are fruity and sweet, but white wine is lighter and less bold, and I personally think it pairs better with cider. Red wine sangria with apple cider has more body and makes more of a statement due to the type of wine it uses.
- Apple cider: we generally use fresh apple cider or hard apple cider, depending on how fermented we want it. For a non-alcoholic option, make homemade apple cider and use it within a day.
- White wine: use your favorite. It can be dry or sweetened (late harvest). Depending on your choice, increase or decrease the amount of syrup or sugar. Use a Spanish red wine (we love Rioja wine) for a more authentic sangria.
- Fruit: orange and apples.
- White granulated sugar.
- Club soda or sparkling water.
- Ice cubes.
See the recipe card towards the end of this post for quantities.
- Different fruits: use pomegranate seeds, cranberries, different types of apples, pears, tangerines or nectarines in addition to the apples.
- Spiced apple cider sangria: add other warm spices besides the cinnamon sticks, like cloves, ginger and star anise. Infuse the simple syrup with cozy, fall flavors and make a spiced drink.
- Sweetener: use honey, maple syrup or fruit syrup instead of sugar for a unique flavor. Or use brown sugar for a caramel tone.
- Ginger ale, apple juice or ginger beer: they'll add another layer of flavor and blend with the cider in a unique flavor. We use it for the traditional sangria recipe.
- Liqueurs: add a few tablespoons of apple brandy, triple sec or an orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier).
- Mocktail apple sangria: create a non-alcoholic version using sparkling water, ginger ale and apple juice instead of wine and cider for kids and non-drinkers.
How to make this easy sangria recipe
- Orange and apples: use them unpeeled and sliced.
- Diced fruit: it's another alternative. We often do this and eat the boozy fruit pieces as we drink.
Sweetener: simple sugar syrup is better than adding sugar as it blends faster with the wine and doesn't pool at the bottom of the pitcher. But you can use sugar.
Slice the fruit and add half to the pitcher you'll be using with some ice cubes.
Add the full bottle of wine first and stir. Sweeten it with simple syrup and add the club soda. Add small amounts at first, stir, taste and adjust. Add more fruit and ice cubes and serve, or let macerate for a few hours.
Vintage Kitchen tip: don't add too much fruit from the start, as you might run out of pitcher space for the wine after you add ice. The same goes for the syrup and apple cider. Stir, taste and adjust. Remember that the fruit will macerate with every passing hour, and the sangria flavor will turn fruitier.
- Without the fruit: use a sieve to drain the liquid and pass it to a sealed jar or bottle. Refrigerate the sweet wine, but discard the fruit (or eat it). This is my first recommendation if storing it for a few days. Fruit ferments quickly, and there's a good chance the sangria was left outside or at room temperature before you store leftovers. So the fruit will already be heavily macerated.
- With fruit: if you store it with fruit because you'll be drinking it again soon, smell and taste it before serving to ensure it's not fermented.
- Airtight containers, mason jars or bottles: it will seal in the wine mixture and help preserve it.
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- 1 bottle dry White wine (like Sauvignon blanc or Pinot Grigio)
- 2 cups of Apple cider
- 4 Orange slices
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- ½ Red apple with skin, thinly sliced
- ½ Green apple with skin, thinly sliced
- Club soda
- ⅓ cup sugar
- Don't add too much fruit from the start, as you might run out of pitcher space for the wine after you add ice.
- Make the simple syrup: in a small saucepan combine the sugar with ⅓ cup of water. Stir to moisten and cook over medium heat, without stirring, until it breaks into a boil. Remove and let cool completely. Keep refrigerated in an airtight jar or bottle. It keeps indefinitely.
For the sangria:
- Have a large pitcher (8 cups or more) ready.
- Add half the orange slices, cinnamon sticks and some ice cubes.
- Add the whole bottle of wine and apple cider. Stir a few times.
- Add about ¼ cup of simple syrup and half the apple slices.
- Add more ice and club soda to almost fill the pitcher.
- Stir the sangria and check the sweetness. Add more syrup if needed.
- Serve in glasses with cinnamon sticks and apple slices.
- White wine: use your favorite. A dry wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio is recommended, but you can use a sweeter one, like late-harvest. Depending on your choice, increase or decrease the amount of syrup or sugar.
Without the fruit: use a sieve to drain the liquid and pass it to a sealed jar or bottle. Refrigerate the sweet wine but discard the fruit (or eat it). This is my first recommendation if storing it for a few days. Fruit ferments quickly, and there's a good chance the sangria was left outside or at room temperature before you store leftovers. So the fruit will already be heavily macerated.
With fruit: if you store it with fruit because you'll be drinking it again soon, smell and taste it before serving to ensure it's not fermented.
- How long should sangria soak? Though sangría is made up to 12 hours before serving, you can serve it almost immediately. It won't have the fruity flavor it acquires after hours of fruit slices macerating, but it'll still be a great wine drink. Find your own sweet and fruity spot. You shouldn't stop from making it because you don't have hours to let it stand.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Drinks
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: International
Keywords: apple cider sangria