I used to think of sangria as more of a refreshing summertime drink, but it can really be a year-round beverage if you use seasonal fruits. This white wine sangria is flavored with apples and honey, along with spices like cinnamon and cloves, for a fantastic autumn-themed cocktail.
I used Honeycrisp apples, which are my favorite, to make this sangria. The Honeycrisp was developed by the University of Minnesota in 1960 and introduced commercially in 1991 as a variety that would grow in cooler climates and store well. It has a bright red and pale green skin and creamy white flesh with a crisp and juicy texture. It’s honey sweet and slightly tart, and is excellent eaten fresh and in salads. Honeycrisps are also good in baked goods like apple crisp and pies and applesauce. They are available from September to February.
Honeycrisp Apple Sangria
Yields 4 servings
2 Honeycrisp apples plus a few apple slices for garnish
2 oranges, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
1 lime, quartered
One 750-milliliter bottle Chardonnay, preferably unoaked
1/4 cup Calvados (apple brandy) or other apple liquor (optional)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks
Ginger ale (Club soda or lemon-lime soda are good substitutes)
Garnish: 2 tablespoons sugar + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Peel (optional), core and chop apples. Cut one of the oranges, lemon and lime into quarters. Set aside.
In a large pitcher, combine the Chardonnay, Calvados, if using, and honey. Stir to combine. Add the chopped apples. Squeeze the juice of the orange, lemon, and lime into the pitcher before tossing them into the pitcher. (I squeeze the citrus through a strainer to catch the seeds and pulp.) Add the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Remove the citrus quarters. Slice the remaining orange and set aside.
On a small plate, blend the 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Moisten the glass rims and dip in the cinnamon/sugar mixture to coat. Garnish glasses with orange and apple slices.
Fill the glasses with ice. Pour in the sangria until each glass is three-quarters full. Top with a splash of ginger ale.
Adapted from Food and Wine.
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