Thirsty Thursday: Honeycrisp Sangria

My friends and I started planning our annual orchard trips recently, and one of my favorites is the Honeycrisp. They're the perfect combination ,in my opinion, of sweetness and crispness. As summer ends and the evenings start blending into that cooler autumn breeziness that makes you want to live by a campfire I can't help but start craving a great spicy Sangria! It fits the feel of the season well, the chilled wine is nice after the warm day, but the cinnamon and brandy will definitely warm you up as the nights get chillier! I like to use Honeycrisp apples in mine because the sweetness from them balances the dryness of the wine really well. Pink Lady apples are also a great variety to use for their bright, crisp flavor!


  • 3 cinnamon sticks (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 honeycrisp apples, chopped
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine (A firey Spanish wine is my favorite)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups homemade apple cider or store-bought (I prefer unfiltered)
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (or juice from 2 medium oranges)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Club soda, to taste

  • Place the cinnamon sticks, apples, and orange slices in a large pitcher.
  • Add wine, apple cider, brandy, orange juice, and lemon juice. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 6 - 24 hours.
  • Taste; if you'd like it to be sweeter, add 1-2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, honey, or agave.
  • Pour in the sangria with fruit and add a splash of club soda (this unsweetened fizz is wonderful with the sangria!). Garnish with a cinnamon stick, if desired. Cheers!
  • If you'd like a cinnamon-sugar rim (highly recommended), simply moisten the rim of your glasses with water or citrus juice, turn the glass upside down and dip it into a mix of cinnamon and sugar.
  • Make ahead tip: Sangria is the perfect make-ahead cocktail since it must sit for at least 6 hours. You can also make it one day in advance.