Celebrate the season with this simple Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria flavoured with fresh cranberries and apples. This one is a crowd-pleaser for any season! Made with cranberry juice and apple cider, this red wine Sangria is one your friends will love.
Any Spaniard will tell you that Sangria is not just a summertime drink. Adding seasonal fruit to red or white wine is an ideal way to celebrate in the fall and winter months too! This Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria tops my list of favourite ways to celebrate the season.
This red wine sangria is perfect for Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Christmas or any time you want to celebrate!
Ready to make a pitcher of fall sangria? Here's what you'll need.
This simple-to-make Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria is not too sweet, but not too tart, once you add a little honey or some simple syrup. I used pure, unfiltered cranberry juice and apple cider with no added sweeteners or preservatives, produced right here in British Columbia.
red wine: one 750 ml (26 ounce) bottle.
apple cider: the "soft" non-alcoholic variety. See the note below about the difference between hard and soft apple cider. If you can't find apple cider, you can use pure unsweetened apple juice.
cranberry juice: unsweetened. If you can't find unsweetened cranberry juice, decrease the amount of honey in the recipe below.
Triple Sec: or other orange liqueur (Curaçao, Gran Marnier, Cointreau)
honey: or substitute with simple syrup made by heating equal parts of sugar and water over medium heat until dissolved.
cranberries: fresh or frozen
apples: freshly diced red and green apple cubes (no need to peel)
sparkling water: to top off each glass
cinnamon sticks: for garnish and a hint of warm fall spice!
While you can make this cranberry apple cider sangria and drink it right away, it's even better if you make it the day before. Let it chill in the fridge to allow the flavours and fruit to blend. When you're ready to serve, top off each glass with ice and sparkling water.
In a large pitcher, combine red wine, cranberry juice, apple cider, Triple Sec, honey, cranberries and apple cubes. Stir and refrigerate.
At serving time, add ice to each glass. Fill 2/3 full making sure each glass has some of the fruit. Top each glass with sparkling water and add a tall cinnamon stick as a stir stick. Enjoy!
Hard apple cider vs. soft apple cider
Apple cider can be "hard" or "soft." Hard cider is a fermented, alcoholic drink, but soft cider, (also called fresh cider), is unfiltered and non-alcoholic. It differs from apple juice in that it has not been filtered to remove coarse particles, so it appears a little cloudy. It is naturally sweet, but often has more of a tang than apple juice that has been filtered.
It's perfect when combined with cranberry juice in this sangria.
What kind of red wine should I use?
You don't need to use an expensive wine in this sangria recipe. However, it should be one that you like! I usually use a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Are you supposed to eat the fruit in Sangria?
By all means! It's delicious because it has been soaked in juice and alcohol. However, if it's awkward, it's not considered rude to leave it in your glass.
Why you'll love this Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria
- it's not too sweet, but not too tart
- the base can be made ahead of time. Just add sparkling water when you're ready to serve.
- adding fruits in season, like apples and cranberries makes it festive!
If you've been a reader of mine for awhile, you probably already know that sangria is my favourite drink! I sampled it in almost every tapa bar we visited during our recent trip to Spain, and NEVER tired of it! I've done my best to create different sangria recipes ever since.
🍽 Serving suggestions
Start your afternoon or evening off on a festive note by offering an assortment of finger foods to go with your Sangria! Check these ideas for popular appetizers.
Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria
- 1 750ml (26 oz) bottle red wine
- 3 cups soft apple cider (non-alcoholic)
- 1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
- 1/2 cup Triple Sec or other orange liqueur
- 1/2 cup honey* (or 1/2 cup simple syrup made by heating equal parts of sugar and water over medium heat until dissolved)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup freshly diced red and/or green apple cubes
- sparkling water to top off
- cinnamon sticks for garnish
- Combine red wine, apple cider (or pure apple juice) cranberry juice, orange liqueur and honey (or simple syrup) in a large pitcher.
- Add cranberries and diced unpeeled apples. Chill overnight if desired.
- Serve over ice, if desired, filling glasses 2/3 full and topping off with sparkling water.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a straw.
Stemless wine glasses are ideal for Sangria! Red and white stemless wine glasses are available through Amazon. (affiliate link)
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