Turn Your Favorite Hard Cider Into A Punchy Sangria

As autumn fast approaches, plenty of holidays and celebrations are on their way. And that means plenty of gatherings that we'll want to make something extra special for. What better treat to bring along with you than a pitcher of homemade sangria? Sangria is a versatile cocktail; there are so many ways to craft it, and many various ingredients to include to make it seasonal. Most people think of sangria as a red or white wine mixed with fresh fruits for a rich, refreshing beverage. Yet, there are plenty of different ways to add twists to this classic cocktail, and one involves swapping out the wine with your favorite hard cider.

Sangria doesn't actually need to be wine-based. In many ways, hard cider is to apples what wine is to grapes (since the juice from the apples undergo fermentation). There's a wide variety of popular hard cider brands on the market, and while some are very apple-y in flavor, others aren't really at all. Still, the bubbles and sweetness of hard cider can add a welcome dimension to a pitcher of sangria, and opting for a cider that's more on the apple and cinnamon side of things can bring your sangria into the fall and winter months. 

Hard cider sangria packs a punch and saves you time

From classic Angry Orchard to Wölffer No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider, there's quite a range out there when it comes to apple-based hard ciders. To ensure optimal taste and avoid one of the common mistakes people make when making sangria, you may want to test a few ciders to nail down your favorite. It'll be equal parts informative and fun. If you're familiar with making sangria that soaks with fruit for hours, then this style might be a welcome time-saver. You should mix up this drink about 30 minutes ahead of time, storing it in the refrigerator before serving it, so your drink is perfectly soaked without the refreshing bubbles going flat. 

The fruit you'll use for hard cider sangria might be a bit different than what you're used to in other sangrias, too. To lean into that crisp apple flavor, opt for thinly sliced unpeeled apples and oranges for bite. You can also add lemon and lime juice or slices to taste, and even some high-quality brandy. For a more apple-forward sangria, you can add a little apple juice to the mixture if you'd like. When you're ready to serve, pour your drink over ice, and add a cinnamon stick for both taste and an autumnal garnish. Once you've perfected your hard cider sangria, you'll have a delicious cocktail to bring to any occasion, or just to sip on an autumn afternoon.