an apple a day

It’s finally November, though you wouldn’t know from the weather in Southern, CA currently. Hot and dry Santa Ana winds are back for a visit, bringing summer-like conditions that make you long for something refreshing! Sunday’s are great for relaxing and watching a little football with a cold one, and I decided something other than beer should be on the agenda. Yesterday, I found myself at my local farmers market in La Jolla, as I do almost every weekend. As I perused the vendors, fall produce was abundant even if you couldn’t feel it in the air. Vibrantly colored apples adorned the tables like artwork, so I decided though it was too hot to bake a pie, I’d pick some up and get creative! During summer weekends I love making different variations of our summertime sangria using seasonal fruits and citrus, so what better than a way to embrace the change in seasons—and an abnormally hot day—than with a Fall Apple Sangria! I bought a bunch of apples and local fresh cider from market vendor Smit Orchards—knowing both would be perfect for our beverage. With a little liquor and some cinnamon sticks in my stores, it was time to get mixing!

I didn’t want to make this too sweet, but there was just enough sugar inherently in the fresh cider & apples themselves. I had several other ingredients on-hand that worked well for this—club soda, apple brandy and white wine. This is easy and simply refreshing (not to mention apples are full of fiber and nutrients, so your doctor would approve).

Fall Apple Sangria
Nothing beats fresh apples in the Fall, but when it's too hot to bake them up, we're going to slice them up for a refreshing apple sangria, subtly spiced with cinnamon sticks & cloves, this one doesn't disappoint!
Serves: large glass pitcher of sangria!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 3 cups chilled white wine (Chardonnay, not an overly sweet one)
  • 1 oz apple brandy
  • 1 cup fresh apple cider (mine was not spiced, chilled)
  • 1 cup club soda (chilled)
  • 1 Pink Lady apple, thinly sliced (we'll use about ¾ of the slices for pitcher and glasses)
  • 1 Macintosh apple, thinly sliced (we'll use about ½ the apple)
  • 2+ cinnamon sticks (2 for pitcher, one additional for each glass)
  • 2-3 dashes ground cloves
  • 2 oz apple wine (Like 'pommier’ I used one from J. Jenkins Winery in Temecula, CA) **optional
What to do:
  1. In a large glass pitcher add cubed ice, Chardonnay, apple wine (pommier) if available, fresh cider, club soda, brandy, ½ of each apple variety sliced, 2-3 dashes ground cloves, 2 whole cinnamon sticks.
  2. Stir well to combine, and serve chilled in glasses with a cinnamon stick garnish and additional sliced apples.
  3. Store in plastic covered pitcher in refrigerator for a day or so.
This is very easy and a refreshing twist on traditional white sangria. We are featuring apples and they make for a crisp and only slightly sweet sangria. If you prefer more sweetness you can add apple juice or replace the club soda with gingerale or Sprite. This one is best served chilled and stores for a day in fridge if pitcher is sealed with plastic. If you'd like to give this one a little extra kick, you can add more of the apple brandy.

The different apple varieties available nowadays seem endless. I like to try new kinds I find at the farmer’s market, but my very favorite happen to be Pink Lady. They’re bright pink with some green to their skins, and they offer a vibrant & slightly sweet flavor, and boast a crisp texture! When I cannot find Pink Ladies, I usually opt for Honeycrisp or Macintosh that are also very good. This sangria would be delicious with a variety of different apples, and using a few in one batch gives a well-rounded taste, not to mention a pretty pitcher to serve your guests.

This turned out to be a crowd-pleaser, so I plan to make another for Turkey Day in a few weeks!

Cheers to great weather & seasonal sips!

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Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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