autumn sangria

For those of you who feel a pang of sadness with the realization that summer is over, let this beverage help you transition into the fall season. For the rest of us who were counting down the days until we could finally start wearing our favorite sweaters again, this is a no-brainer. In my world, the seasons are best described as follows: fall, post-fall, purgatory, and pre-fall. None of this fall, winter, spring, and summer business.


This sangria is perfect for warm fall days where an iced drink is still the beverage of choice, yet allows you to enjoy the fruit and spices of autumn. Basically it’s apple pie in a cocktail. You’re welcome.





makes approximately 7 cups sangria

3 cups apple cider
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks
2 apples, I used honeycrisp
2 oranges
1 cup Applejack brandy
1 750mL bottle white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Pino Grigio, dry Riesling, or Moscato for a sweeter touch)
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)*

In a medium pot, heat cider, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon on moderate heat. Meanwhile, cube 1 apple and 1 orange, leaving peel on, and add to cider. Bring cider to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes, then strain into a small pitcher or container, discarding the fruit chunks.

Julienne the remaining apple and cube the orange, leaving peel on both. Add to the strained cider and put in refrigerator until cool (about an hour if you can wait that long).

In a large pitcher (capacity 7 cups or more), mix together cooled cider, brandy, white wine, and Grand Marnier, if using.

Serve over ice in a tumbler glass. And yes, I forgot to take a picture for the blog of the sangria in a glass. I blame it on the sangria, obviously.

*After posting autumn sangria, I made it for my family and decided that it needed “a dash of something” for a more complex flavor. My brother-in-law had some Grand Marnier in the cupboard and it worked out great!

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