Please tell me you’ve seen the hilarious hot chocolate meme on Facebook telling pumpkin spice everything where it can go until next year (hint: it’s not a nice place.) Hot chocolate’s back in town!
My first thought was hallelujah! I can’t wait to wrap my hands around a hot mug of cocoa as I’ve already got big plans to make an epic almond milk/dark chocolate version for myself this year. My second thought though? No WAY it’s time for hot chocolate! Leaves are fluttering yet still firmly planted on our trees and, I don’t know about where you live, but we’re still flirting with the lower 70s.
No matter where you stand on the hot chocolate vs pumpkin spice debate, there’s one fall favorite that remains relevant all fall and season that shall not be named long – apples – and I’m celebrating this sweet seasonal fruit with Sparkling Hard Apple Cider Sangria!
Lots of sangrias can get complicated with adding brandy or different liquors but I kept this Sparkling Hard Apple Cider Sangria super, super simple with just five ingredients: wine, an apple, a pear, a cinnamon stick, and, drumroll please, hard apple cider! We’re not messing around with mixers here people, we’re goin’ straight for the good stuff – muwahaha!
The result is a fall-inspired, crisp, refreshing, sublty bubbly and sweet sangria that’s going to be perfect for every fall occasion under the sun. Make then serve alongside a cheese platter for girl’s night, book club, date night in, Thanksgiving cocktail hour, or simply when Mama’s had a DAY! You’ve been there. ;)
Like I said, this drink could not be simpler. All you need to do is add 1 sliced apple and pear into a large pitcher. If you’re serving the drink right away, have them both chilled so you don’t warm up the sangria.
To the fruit add 1 bottle white wine. Since we’re skipping added sweeteners like juice or simple syrup, purchase a sweeter resiling or moscato if you like sweet sangria. I don’t like my drinks too sweet so I stuck with a run of the mill Sauvignon Blanc. You don’t need to buy a $20 bottle of wine, but stay away from the $3-5 price range wines. You’ll be able to taste it.
Next, slowly add 2-12oz cans Smith and Forge Hard Cider. I was introduced to the world of hard cider after getting diagnosed with Celiac Disease and, while the bubbles quench my craving for fizzy beer at times, the sugar content in most hard ciders make my teeth ache. I’ve found Smith & Forge, Sutliff Cider, and Bold Rock cider to be the least sweet-tasting.
Psst: Wait to add the hard cider until just before serving if combining the wine and fruit ahead of time!
Pop 1 cinnamon stick into the sangria to infuse it with the warming flavor of fall then gently stir and pour into glasses. Sink in a straw, then sip away!
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Sparkling Hard Apple Cider Sangria
Sparkling Hard Apple Cider Sangria is the perfect fall drink. Not too sweet, and subtly sparkly, you'll love each refreshing sip!
- 1 bottle white wine (use decent quality and avoid oaky Chardonnays,) I used Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 red apple, sliced
- 1 pear, sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 2-12oz cans Smith and Forge Hard Apple Cider (or your favorite brand of hard apple cider)
- Add wine, fruit, and cinnamon stick into a large pitcher then chill. Just before serving, slowly stream in hard apple cider then serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.