This hard apple cider sangria is a great pitcher drink for the upcoming holiday celebrations and for gatherings with friends. This cider sangria is made with an assortment of fall/winter fruits, from apples to persimmons, a spiced ginger simple syrup, Calvados or apple brandy, sparkling wine, and dry apple soda.
This sangria is a small tribute to Washington state, there’s been an increase in hard cider production in the state and I wanted to prepare a cocktail using local cider. Apples and pears are grown in Eastern Washington, and the pears I used for this recipe were a gift from a good friend’s family orchard in the Entiat Valley.
Hard apple cider sangria recipe made with hard apple cider, assorted fall/winter fruits (apples, pears, persimmon, figs, grapes, plums, oranges, pomegranate, and more), spiced ginger simple syrup, apple liqueur, sparkling wine and dry apple soda.
- 2-3 cups of your choice of sliced assorted fall/winter fruit: apples, pears, persimmon, fig, oranges, grapes, plums, pomegranate arils, cranberries, etc
- ~½ cup of Calvados or apple liqueur/brandy, adjust to taste
- ½ cup ginger simple syrup - can also use regular simple syrup or honey, add more or less based on your preference
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks - optional
- 1 bottle (750-1000ml) bottle of hard apple cider, chilled
- 1 bottle (750) of sparkling wine, chilled
- ~10oz-15 oz of dry apple soda, chilled – can also use sparkling water or sparkling apple juice
- Fruit slices
- Cinnamon sticks
- Place the sliced fruit in a large pitcher. Add the Calvados, ginger simple syrup, cinnamon sticks, and 1 cup of hard apple cider. Let the fruit, syrup and liqueur macerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the rest of the apple cider and the sparkling wine, mix gently. Taste and adjust the amount of Calvados and sweet ginger syrup as needed.
- Serve the sangria in individual glass and top with the sparkling apple soda.
For a non-alcoholic version, omit the Calvados and replace the hard cider with sparkling apple cider. The sparkling wine can be replaced with sparkling lemonade. Also, reduce the amount of simple syrup since those drinks are already quite sweet.
I also recently discovered fruity dry sodas, which are sparkling soda like drinks made with few ingredients (including less sugar and using pure cane sugar), and it just happens that the company DRY Soda Co is a local Seattle company (no compensation has been provided to mention/use their product, I just really love it). They have an apple dry soda, which is perfect to top off this sparkling hard apple cider sangria. If you can’t find the apple dry soda, you can use sparkling apple juice or simply sparkling water if the sangria is sweet enough.
I made a very easy homemade ginger simple syrup to sweeten the sangria, if you don’t have time you can use regular simple syrup or honey. I used honey the first time I tested this drink and it works very well. You can add some cinnamon sticks and even some ginger if you like to the apple sangria mix while macerating the fruits – just make sure to remove the chunks of ginger before serving.
I used a mix of apples, pears, persimmon, plums, figs, oranges, grapes, and pomegranate for this recipe, and you can use the assortment of fruits that you have available and that you like. I used tunas or prickly pears in my test version and I love the way they look in the drink, but they do have a lot of very hard seeds, so I left them out of the recipe. I also would have added cranberries, but they weren’t available when I made this back in October, but I will likely add some when I make this again for the holidays. Cheers!
Step by step preparation photos for apple cider sangria