Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

Jan Scott March 31, 2017
Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

I often think of sangria as a summer sipper, but it works just as easily (and very well, I might add) in the fall and winter.

To serve it in the cold weather months, I simply swap the usual orange juice for apple cider, and replace the red or white wine with a sparkling variety, which instantly makes the drink feel more festive. I’m never fond of the colour, though—it’s awfully brown thanks to the cider—but it’s nothing a hefty splash of cranberry or pomegranate juice can’t fix.

While traditional sangria usually calls for berries, in my holiday version I use apple and/or pear slices, cranberries, and pomegranate arils instead. The wonderful thing about sangria is that it’s incredibly versatile and stretches a bottle of wine a very long way. Speaking of that bottle of wine, opt for a cheap and cheerful variety instead of something more costly. Once you add liqueur and juices to the pitcher the flavour muddles and it’s not worth investing in a pricey bottle at that point.

Three cheers for cost-effective entertaining tricks!

Note: to make this drink non-alcoholic, remove the liqueur and replace the sparkling wine with club soda, or equal parts club soda and ginger ale.

You’ll Need

  • 2 - 4 lemons/limes/oranges, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • 1 750-ml bottle dry sparkling wine (cava, prosecco, etc.), chilled
  • ½ cup liqueur (brandy, triple sec, Grand Marnier)
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups cranberry or pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups sliced seasonal fruits (apples, pears, cranberries, pomegranate seeds)
  • Ice (to finish)

Prep and Cook

  • 1
    Place citrus slices in the bottom of a pitcher and sprinkle the sugar over the fruit. Top with wine, liqueur, cider, and juice; mix well.
  • 2
    Add additional fruits and stir well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • 3
    To serve: pour the sangria into ice-filled glasses, taking care to add some of the fruit. Serve, garnished with extra fruit, if desired.

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