Apple cider sangria makes a perfect fall cocktail for your next get-together! With a base of white wine, apple cider, ginger beer, and brandy, this spiced beverage sets a seasonal mood and is made ahead of time for entertaining ease.
Adding apple cider to a cocktail or mocktail is one of the easiest ways to "fall-ify" a recipe. This apple cider sangria is a seasonal take on white sangria, which also features classic brandy, zippy ginger beer, and freshly squeezed orange juice.
This drink encompasses some of my favorite elements of fall cocktails of yore: apple cider in a cranberry apple margarita, ginger beer in an apple cider mule, and the delicious orange flavoring of a bourbon apple cider cocktail.
Sangria's have a big benefit over other cocktails as they're intended to be prepped beforehand to allow the flavors to meld, meaning this autumn sangria is a great choice for your next Game Day, Oktoberfest, Halloween, or pumpkin carving party.
What You'll Need for Apple Cider Sangria
- Apple Cider: Unfiltered and naturally sweetened with a cloudy appearance, apple cider is the pick in this sangria over apple juice for its well-rounded flavor. It will likely be in the refrigerated juice section of the store.
- White Wine: Go for a drier variety like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay. And it doesn't need to be anything pricey!
- Brandy: I stick with a traditional brandy, but feel free to experiment with a flavored variety, like apple brandy.
- Orange: Half in slices and half juiced. A few tablespoons of orange juice helps ties the flavors together without being overly citrusy.
- Apples: Traditional in sangria but extra appropriate here. They can be sliced thinly or cut into chunks. I like to pick a firm, sweet/tart kind like Pink Lady, Gala, or Honeycrisp apples.
- Cinnamon: A few cinnamon sticks infuse their flavor as this fall sangria chills. I love the spiced flavor cinnamon brings to sangria in general, and it's especially complementary when using apple cider.
- Ginger Beer: This is non-alcoholic and can be found either in the soda aisle or with the drink mixers. It's carbonated like ginger ale, but has a much stronger "bite" that shines through as an ingredient in this apple cider sangria.
Easy Recipe Steps
- Prep the fruit. Thinly slice one apple and half of an orange. Squeeze the juice from the remaining half of the orange.
- Assemble and chill. Place the fruit and cinnamon sticks in a pitcher and stir in the wine, cider, brandy, and orange juice. Grate in nutmeg, if using, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Add ginger beer. Stir in ginger beer once ready to serve (so it doesn't go flat).
- Serve. Pour over ice into individual glasses.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Pitcher Size - This recipe yields roughly 60 ounces of liquid, plus fruit. If you cannot find a pitcher large enough to comfortably house everything with room to stir, consider assembling everything in a large bowl and portion it out into smaller pitchers for serving.
- Garnish - Serve each glass of fall sangria with whole cinnamon sticks and apple slices. While not featured in the recipe, a few fresh cranberries provide another seasonal touch. A cinnamon sugar rim (mix granulated and brown sugars for a "golden sugar" appearance) is also fun.
- Variations - Replace the ginger beer with club soda or ginger ale (though it'll have an impact on flavor), add sliced pears, choose a flavored brandy such as apple brandy or ginger brandy, drizzle in a splash of Amaretto liqueur.
- Save the Wine Bottle - I always save the empty wine bottle from sangrias to store any leftover (sans fruit). A narrow wine bottle takes up less fridge room than a pitcher.
P.S. Are you looking for a more acutely seasonal cocktail? You may be interested in this eerie, glowing green Halloween margarita.
More Fun Fall Drinks
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Apple Cider Sangria
- 1 large apple thinly-sliced
- Half of a medium orange sliced into rounds, then quartered
- Half of a medium orange juiced (around 2 Tablespoons)
- 3 3- to 4-inch cinnamon sticks
- 1 750-ml bottle dry white wine
- 2 cups apple cider
- ½ cup brandy
- Freshly-grated nutmeg
- 1 12-ounce can ginger beer
- Amaretto liqueur optional, for serving
- Slice apple and half of an orange. Juice the other half of the orange.
- Place sliced fruit in a large pitcher (at least 60-ounce capacity) or pitchers along with the orange juice and cinnamon sticks. Pour in the wine, apple cider, and brandy. Grate nutmeg over top, then give it all a big stir.
- Cover the pitcher with tight-fitting plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours so the flavors can meld.
- When ready to serve, stir the ginger beer into the pitcher. Serve over ice in glasses garnished with a cinnamon stick along with sliced apples, and oranges. While totally optional, adding a small drizzle of amaretto liqueur to the glasses of this fall sangria makes for a nice complementary flavor.
- Pitcher Size - If you don't have a large enough pitcher to hold all of the ingredients, assemble everything in a big mixing bowl and cover while refrigerating. Then portion out into pitchers once ready to serve.
- Wine - Good types to use are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Charddonay.
- Ginger Beer - This is non-alcoholic and carbonated, and can either be found with the sodas or in the drink mixer aisle. I don't recommend using ginger ale as it has a weaker flavor that won't be as impactful.
- Leftover Spiced Apple Sangria - Cover and store in the refrigerator. You may wish to remove the fruit as it'll get mushier as time goes by. The empty wine bottle makes a nice vessel for leftover portions.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer