Fall Sangria | Boozy Apple Cider Punch

This Fall Sangria with apple cider, bourbon, pinot grigio, and seasonal fruits is a gorgeous fall drink idea! We love serving this apple cider punch at Thanksgiving or any fall gathering.

glass of apple sangria

Before I tried sangria, I thought I didn’t like wine. In fact, I thought the only alcoholic beverage I liked was the fruitiest of fruity cocktails. 

Then along came this fall sangria with its boozy cinnamon apples and warm bite of bourbon, and lo and behold, I was smitten.

This Autumn Sangria is packed with the season’s best fruits–a colorful mix of apples, pears, and plums–in a blend of pinot grigio, apple cider, and bourbon. It’s fruity and refreshing, but still cozy enough for a chilly fall day.

This is my preferred drink for football Saturdays. Y’all can keep your beer. I’ll take a big ol’ glass of apple sangria with a side of bacon wrapped smokies, please and thank you. 

I first made this drink almost seven years ago for a girl’s night. It was a raving success, and since then it’s become my standard punch recipe for tailgating, bridal showers, Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, PTA meetings…Basically, if it’s Autumn and people are getting together, I’m making fall sangria. 

Every time I make this, I spot guests trying to inconspicuously fish out fruit from the pitcher with a wooden spoon. This, to me, is the sign of success–people willing to sacrifice their dignity and manners for a few hunks of boozy apple cider soaked fruit. 

Fall Sangria is super easy to make and adapt to your tastes, but I do have some tips for making it the very best! I’m sure you and your family/guests/neighbors/strangers who saw you were serving sangria will love this as much as we do!

pitcher of autumn sangria with apples, plums, and pears

How to Make Apple Sangria

  1. Fill a large pitcher with your choice of fresh apples and other fall fruits. Toss in a few cinnamon sticks.
  2. Add an entire bottle of pinot grigio, a few cups of apple cider,  some club soda, and a little bit of bourbon for all the warm fuzzies.
  3. Stir, stir, stir! Taste. If you’d like, stir in a little maple syrup for added sweetness. Otherwise, pop  the mixture in the fridge and allow it to sit for at least an hour overnight.
  4. After all the flavors have had a chance to mix and mingle, pull the pitcher out of the fridge, give it another good swirl, and serve it up! 

wine poured into pitcher of fall sangria

Tips for Making Fall Sangria

  • Start with fresh, in season produce that’s ripe but not too soft. The fruit will soften considerably in the apple cider punch, so you want it to be fairly firm to begin with.
  • Choose a variety of fruits for lots of flavor and color! I love using a few different kinds of apples, pears, and plums, but feel free to substitute your favorites.
  • Use a high quality dry or semi-dry white wine. We prefer riesling or pinot grigio.  If you’re like me, you’ll pick one that is A) On sale for $10 or less and B) Says something about “subtle hints of apple” or “refreshing blend of pear and citrus” on the back.
  • Bourbon is the quintessential fall spirit in my opinion, and I love the warmth it brings to this apple sangria. However, feel free to substitute brandy or rum if you prefer.
  • You can use sparkling wine, club soda, or ginger ale to make a bubbly holiday sangria. My husband prefers the ginger ale, but I prefer to use club soda plus a teensy pour of maple syrup for sweetness and flavor. Feel free to experiment with your desired sweetness!
  •  Refrigerate Autumn Sangria for at least an hour before serving or overnight. The flavors will get better and better as it sits!

autumn sangria in a large pitcher

Want More Fall Drink Ideas?

These Caramel Apple Cider Floats are so easy to make and the perfect bridge between summer and fall.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you’ll also love our Apple Cider Cocktail–it’s like the flannel shirt of cocktails. Or, try these Apple Cider Margaritas!

In the mood for something hot? Try this Mulled Spiced Apple Cider or this Apple Cider Hot Toddy with Brown Butter Bourbon.

 

two glasses of fall sangria

autumn sangria in a large pitcher

Fall Sangria

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This Fall Sangria with apple cider, bourbon, and wine is loaded with fresh apples, pears, and plums for a gorgeous fall beverage!

Ingredients

  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 2 pears, chopped
  • 2 plums, chopped
  • 1 bottle of pinot grigio
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the chopped fruits in the bottom of a large pitcher. Pour in the wine, apple cider, club soda, and bourbon. Give everything a really good stir. Taste. If desired, add 1/4 cup maple syrup.
  2. Sangria should be refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before serving, but is better if refrigerated for several hours or overnight.

Notes

Feel free to substitute your favorite fruits in this sangria recipe. Pomegranates and oranges both work well here.

Ginger ale can be substituted for club soda if preferred.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 15mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 4gSugar: 36gProtein: 1g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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55 Comments

  1. Hello! I want to make this the night before thanksgiving! I should add the club soda right before serving to the sangria?

  2. Sorry for finding this post so late in the game, my girlfriend isn’t a big whiskey drinker I personally think this will be perfect. But she is debating on substituting out the whiskey for champagne. I was thinking if we do that we that it might be better to switch it out with vodka instead and add the maple syrup

  3. This recipe was awesome! You should definitely chill it for a few hours if not overnight so the flavors can develop. However, if you’re in a rush you can put in in the freezer so it will chill even faster. Just remember to give it a little swirl so you don’t have a slushy lol. I used Ellington’s salted caramel whiskey and got a caramel apple cider that everyone loved! I’ll definitely be bringing this to holiday parties 😁

  4. I see it says to let it sit for multiple hours or overnight for best taste… I assume you hold off on adding the club soda until soon before serving?

  5. This looks yummy! I don’t discriminate between white and red wines, but I know the friends I’m having over for an adult pumpkin carving party mostly drink red. Do you have a similar version that would work well with a red wine?

  6. Hi there! I know this is an old post, but I am so excited to make this for a party I’m having in October. How many times do you think I should double the recipe to fill a punch bowl and to serve 30 guests? Thank you!!

    1. You could probably get by with tripling it if you’ll be serving other drinks and everyone just plans on having one glass, but if it’s your only drink I would probably times the recipe by 5. I hope everyone enjoys it! Fall parties are the best. 🙂

  7. I made this sangria for thanksgiving. Not only was it delicious, but it was deceptively strong. You couldn’t taste any alcohol, but we started feeling its effects after a few sips. Granted none of us are regular drinkers. Anyway, thanks for the recipe!

  8. hello, thanks for the recipe, I just made it for thanksgiving, I have a question though I didn’t know what size bottle of pinot grigio to get so I used (2) 1.5 liter bottles and I made a double batch , was that the right size bottle to use?? Im going to add more sweetness to it .

  9. Does this pitcher really only serve six? Wanting to make this for thanksgiving for a group of ten. We will have other drinks as well. Not sure if I should double the reicpe??

  10. This looks amazing! And I just found a recipe for homemade apple cider in a crock pot, so I think I might just have to make both of these recipes soon. Random question: where did you get your pitcher/what brand is it? It looks so nice for serving these kinds of drinks 🙂

    1. I wish I could tell you, but I actually got it at an auction of all things. I’d been looking for a pitcher like that forever and finally found one. I would check Home Goods or TJ Maxx though. I seem to have good luck there.

  11. Girl, you are speaking my language, the language of fruity, boozy cocktails. I’m in love with your autumn version of sangria. I’m not a big beer drinker either – I’ll have one beer and be done. This, however, would be dangerous. Just stick a giant straw in that jug and I’ll drink the entire pitcher!

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