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!
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!
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!