At least that’s what I’m calling it for now. I’m not quite sure that I want to label it a sangria, but I don’t want to just call it a “punch” or “cocktail,” either.
A couple weekends ago two of our good friends, Josh and Jenn, came up for the day to bum around, eat some lunch, and play some Rock Band. We had an as-always delicious late lunch at Shipyard Emporium, then we stopped at Fresh Market to pick out some snacks and drinks for sustenance during serious Rock Banding. I noticed a bottle of Honeycrisp apple cider and snagged it, figuring that I could do SOMETHING interesting with it. Honeycrisps are my favorite cultivar of apple for eating out of hand; I think they have a great balance of sweet and tart, along with a perfect texture. I was hoping that the cider made from the apples would be just as delicious.
Luckily, not only was the cider very tasty on its own, but we had some ingredients around at home that lent for some mixology magic. A bottle of Riesling was chilling in the fridge, and we had also picked up a couple Honeycrisp apples and a Meyer lemon at the store. We mixed the cider in a large pitcher with the wine, an apple, and the juice from the lemon. This mixture alone was nearly perfect, but it was missing something. After consulting the liquor cabinet, I tested a bit of bourbon in my glass and that neatly pulled everything together. No sweetener is needed due to the natural sweetness of the apple cider!
Just to make sure, I took some to a friend’s housewarming party and it also went over very well there. And so now, to complement my winter sangria, I have an autumn themed sangria! I believe this one will be making the trek down to my in-laws for Thanksgiving this year!
Much thanks and love to Jenn to helping me develop this one!!
Honeycrisp Autumn Sangria
Makes 10-12 cups
1 half gallon bottle of Honeycrisp apple cider
1 750 mL bottle of Riesling wine
1 large Meyer lemon, juiced, with the fruit chopped and set aside
1 large Honeycrisp apple, chopped
8 oz bourbon
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher large enough to hold one gallon and stir well. This mixture may be served immediately, or held overnight. Serve as is, over ice, or topped with club soda to make it sparkling.
Notes: if you can’t find Honeycrisp cider or Meyer lemons, you can make this with regular apple cider and lemons, but add 1/4 cup of orange juice as well. The taste and appearance will be slightly different.