This fall sangria made with apple cider, red wine and warm spices is the perfect autumn drink. It’s packed with flavor and is refreshing yet cozy.

No party is complete without a kickass cocktail. And this cider sangria, made with apple cider, Honeycrisp apples, and fall spices is sure to win everyone over.

photography of a Red wine apple sangria set on a white marble tray

I decided this Red Wine Apple Cider Sangria should be the first recipe featured in ZK’s Goodbye Garden Party menu. Why? Because every great party needs a great cocktail. And because it’s Friday. I wanted to set you up for a successful weekend. 🙂

photography of a Red wine apple sangria set on a white marble tray

What makes a sangria, well, a sangria?

The basic components of sangria are:

  • Wine — sangria can be made with both red or white wine, although red is classic
  • Fruit or fruit juices
  • Sweetener (optional but common)
  • Soda water (optional)
  • Liqueurs such as brandy or cognac (this recipe uses an orange liqueur)
  • Flavorings (optional but common)

Can sangria be made ahead? And how long does sangria last?

It sure can! Sangria benefits from sitting for awhile anyway. I recommend making it at least 30 minutes before serving or up to 1 day in advance. Just be sure to refrigerate it.

In general, sangria will last up to 3 days. It can technically last a bit longer, but after 3 days the flavors start to become very strong.

What kind of wine should I use for a sangria?

First off, when it comes to drinking wine in general, the most important thing is to use wine that you enjoy and would drink by itself. It’s similar to the rule of “don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink.”

When picking out red wine for sangria, look for wines that are fruit-forward and low in tannins. It’s best to use a delicious, but not too pricey bottle since you’ll be adding other flavors to the wine.

And since Sangria is Spanish in origin, look for wines from that region such as Grenache and Tempranillo. Non-Spanish varieties that work well are Pinot Noir, Malbec or even Syrah which is often used as a blending grape in Spain.

Choosing a white wine for sangria is easier to do. The one thing to keep in mind—steer clear of oaky varieties like Chardonnay.

Other than that it’s all about preference and what kind of sangria you’re planning to make. If you’re going for a citrusy, acidic sangria opt for a Vinho Verde or Sauvignon Blanc. Want something more fruity or tropical? Try a Voigner or Pinot Grigio.

photography of a Red wine apple sangria set on a white marble tray

Variations on this Apple Cider Sangria Recipe:

Use a combination of fruit: instead of just apples, use a combination or apples, pears and oranges.

Make it less boozy: instead of orange liqueur use some simple syrup instead. Want it even lighter? Finish each glass with a splash of club soda.

Make it more boozy: add a splash of vodka to the mix.

Up the elegance: add some pomegranate seeds for a pop of color and flavor.

Add some heat: in a boozy way with a splash of bourbon.

More fall sangria recipes you’ll love…

photography of a Red wine apple sangria set on a white marble tray

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Don’t forget, if you make this Cider Sangria, leave a comment and rating below!

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photography of a Red wine apple sangria set on a white marble tray

Red Wine Apple Cider Sangria

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes “marinating” time
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings (5 cups) 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: no-cook


This Red Wine Apple Cider Sangria is the perfect fall drink. It’s packed with flavor from Honeycrisp apples and warm spices. Refreshing yet cozy, this apple sangria is sure to become your new go-to fall cocktail!


  • 1 bottle fruity red wine (750ml) such as Grenache, Tempranillo or Pinot Noir
  • 1 ½ cups apple cider
  • ½ cup orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
  • 2 honeycrisp apple, sliced, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 star anise, plus more for garnish (optional)


Add all ingredients to a large pitcher and stir to combine. Cover pitcher and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Fill glasses with ice then pour sangria over top. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, star anise, and apple slices, if desired, and serve.

Keywords: fall sangria, autumn sangria, cider sangria, apple sangria

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This recipe was originally published November 2, 2018.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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  1. This is gorgeous! I was looking for a good fall drink to serve at a party on Saturday, and this just hit the top of the list.