This Spiced Orange Apple Cider Sangria is an easy, warming, yet refreshing white sangria – filled with apple cider, orange liqueur, an orange-spiced simple syrup, honeycrisp apples, navel oranges, and cinnamon sticks! It’s a fantastic fall cocktail for entertaining, and it can be made ahead of time too!
I’m a pretty exclusive red-wine-only drinker, even sangria. Its gotta be red! But when it comes to apple cider sangria, I am all about the combo of white wine and apple cider! There’s something so refreshing about it, and the spiced simple syrup adds a little something extra. It gives it a depth that I always look for in a cooler-weather cocktail!
This is the kind of cocktail that is super drinkable. Dangerously so. It’s awesome to entertain with too, because you can make a big batch of it ahead of time, and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. The flavors really marry and those cinnamon sticks really infuse beautifully into the sangria!
This orange spiced simple syrup though. It has a permanent spot in my fridge for the rest of 2019. It sounds so simple (ha! no pun intended) and it is really simple to make, but the flavors end up being so complex and really add something SO special to this drink.
It starts off like a regular simple syrup – equal parts water and sugar, but then a little bit of orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and star anise get added! The combination is just the right amount of sweet, kind of herbal, and perfectly spiced. Exactly how I want my fall sangria to be!
But really, you should make extra syrup for all the fall drinks this season.
Ever since I shared these pitcher cocktails over the summer, you guys have not stopped asking me for more! There’s something so special about having a signature drink for your guests, in addition to wine or whatever your drink of choice is. It’s just so fun and really doesn’t require a lot of extra effort! Especially when you can just throw everything into a pitcher, and let it chill until your ready for it!
This recipe is especially simple, because it doesn’t require juicing a ton of citrus, like a lot of pitcher cocktails sometimes can!
Here’s what you need:
- a bottle of white wine, preferably something lighter, drier, and more citrusy (I used an albariño, but pinot grigio or whatever you enjoy drinking will work well!)
- apple cider (I use the fresh stuff that you can get this time of year – I get mine at the farmers market!)
- orange liqueur (I prefer grand marnier)
- the orange spiced simple syrup!
- sliced honeycrisp apple
- sliced navel orange
- cinnamon sticks
- and that’s it!
The only thing I’ll say, is that you may want to make a double batch. Because it will go QUICK.
I’ll just be over here trying to soak up every last moment of my favorite month with this sangria in hand!
But really, why does fall ever have to end? ❤️
Spiced Orange Apple Cider Sangria
This Spiced Orange Apple Cider Sangria is an easy, warming, yet refreshing white sangria - filled with apple cider, orange liqueur, an orange-spiced simple syrup, honeycrisp apples, navel oranges, and cinnamon sticks! It's a fantastic fall cocktail for entertaining, and it can be made ahead of time too!
For the sangria
- 1 bottle white wine*
- 2 1/2 cups apple cider
- 1/3 cup Grand Marnier*
- 3/4 cup orange spiced simple syrup (you will have leftovers!)*
- 1 honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced, plus extra for garnish
- 1 navel orange, thinly sliced
- 3 cinnamon sticks, plus extra for garnish
For the orange spiced simple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 2-3 inch piece orange peel (avoid the white pith as much as possible!)
In a large pitcher, combine the white wine, apple cider, Grand Marnier, 3/4 cup of the orange spiced simple syrup (start with 1/2 cup if you like things less sweet!), apple slices, orange slices, and cinnamon sticks. Stir to combine. Chill in the fridge for 2-4 hours or until ready to serve, or serve immediately over crushed ice. Garnish with additional apple slices and cinnamon sticks if desired!
orange spiced simple syrup
Begin by making the simple syrup. Add water, sugar, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir, and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Once completely cooled, remove the orange peel, star anise, and cinnamon sticks.
*I like to use a drier, lighter, and more citrusy white wine for this recipe. I've used albariño, pinot grigio, and sauvignon blanc with great results. Be sure to use something you love to drink on its own!
*I swear by using Grand Marnier in my cocktail and margarita recipes, but you could totally use Cointreau or Triple Sec or whatever you have.
*This makes extra simple syrup. I like the balance and flavor that using 3/4 cup has in this recipe, but if you like things less sweet, start with 1/2 cup! And if you like your drinks super sweet, add more to suit your tastes! Extra simple syrup will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks! Add it to cocktails, coffee, desserts, and whatever your heart desires!