Take Your Weekend To Dangerous Levels Of Autumn With This TFD Cocktail


You guys, it’s October. There are so many incredible things about October — and between it being prime cape weather, watching the leaves turn, and all things Halloween, it’s hard to pick a favorite — but one of mine is definitely seasonal cocktails. And while I do love myself some pumpkin things, when it comes to a hard drink, nothing beats the delectably fall combination of bourbon and apple (with some key fall spices mixed in, of course).

Lauren and I knew that we’d have to create a cool fall cocktail for TFD, and came upon the idea of making an apple cider sangria. Yes, really, a sangria made of apple cider (and all the other incredible sangria things, of course). But it’s a great drink for a transitional day, and the day we made this wasn’t warm by any means but it wasn’t yet hot/mulled cocktail weather. You wanted something refreshing and easy to drink, but with all those lovely fall flavors and the giddy delight that comes with stirring your drink with a cinnamon stick.

We made this drink for an evening of cards and the Amanda Knox documentary with Lauren, Holly, and I, and I can confirm that this drink was the culinary highlight of an evening that also included several delicious pizzas. Whip up a pitcher of this for your next movie night, fall dinner party, halloween celebration, or fancy dinner at home. I guarantee whoever you serve it to will feel impressed & autumnal.

TFD’s Apple Cider Sangria

Prep time: 10 Minutes + Resting time of at least 2 hours

Makes: 6 glasses

You will need:

-1 bottle decently-good dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
-1 cup bourbon
-1.5 cups good apple cider
-.5 cup orange juice
-1 apple (something very fall-y, like honeycrisp)
-1 pear
-2 tblsp dark brown sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-.5 tsp allspice
-.5 tsp nutmeg
-1 bottle seltzer

To make, simply slice your apple & pear and chop the slices into half-slices, putting them at the bottom of a large pitcher or other sangria-making vehicle. Add your spices, brown sugar, bourbon, and OJ, stirring until thoroughly combined and dissolved as possible.

Add your wine and apple cider, stirring again to thoroughly combine. Let the sangria soak and combine in your fridge for at least two hours, until ready to serve.

To serve, fill your glass of choice halfway with the sangria and some of its lovely fruit (fruit which is also incidentally delicious on ice cream!), topping with ice and a splash of seltzer. Serve with an adorable straw and cinnaomon stick, if available.

Enjoy, and prepare to be punched in the face by a delicious glass of autumn!




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  • Summer

    So, I made this today! it jumped to the top of my weekend to-do list as soon as I saw the post. I mixed it all up and stuck it in the fridge before heading out for a few hours to do other things and was super excited to try it when I got back home. Unfortunately, it kind of missed the mark for me. It was a little too bourbon-y (and I’m a huge bourbon fan, so I do love to be able to taste it in my drinks!) and my brown sugar and spices 100% failed to dissolve, despite vigorous stirring at all intervals of assembly and again prior to serving. All that goodness just kinda sunk down to the bottom of the pitcher and left me with what tasted precisely like pouring a little too much bourbon into a glass of white wine mixed with apple cider.

    I ended up dumping the whole vat of it into a pot and let it gently simmer on the stovetop for a few minutes to dissolve everything, then I let it cool and tried again over ice as intended. Fortunately, it was MUCH better although still not quite I’d consider magical (but I 100% acknowledge that heating the alcohol undoubtedly changed the overall composition). If I were to make this again, I’d start by making a simple syrup out of the sugar, spices, OJ and perhaps the bourbon to help with integration into the cider and wine.

    • GBee

      I JUST finished making this and stuck it in the fridge. I wish I would have read your comment before!

      • Summer

        How did yours turn out? Maybe you had better luck with it than I did!

        • GBee

          I liked it! I was super lazy so I didn’t stir as much as I should have. It was only a problem when I poured my last glass of sangria and it allll of the spices were sitting there on the bottom. I’m definitely going to try your suggestion of a simple syrup next time.

  • Smashley

    Are people using alcoholic apple cider or non-alcoholic? Excited to give this a go!