Pitcher Cocktail Recipe: Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

updated Jan 29, 2020
Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria
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(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

Sangria isn’t just for summer. Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to stir up a big seasonally-inspired pitcher — perfect for kicking off the holiday season.

(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

Since we’re celebrating, I decided to add a little class to the pitcher this week with a bit of VS Cognac and some bubbly wine. The cognac that I chose perfectly compliments the apples with its notes of caramel and vanilla, and it makes your cider into a cocktail suited for the adults at your gathering.

This sangria skips the sugar because the apple cider is sweet enough. Choose an inexpensive bubbly for this, like Frexienet Cava. Spanish sparkling wines like this one are easier on your wallet when serving a crowd, but still pour up a delicious sip.

(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

I simply sliced the apples into matchsticks rather than the cubes for a more traditional rustic sangria, and then I added some pomegranate seeds for a stunning presentation and a nice touch of tartness. The recipe looks sophisticated but it’s simple, and that’s something we can all be grateful for with the endless to- do list during the holidays.

Break out your pitcher or punch bowl and stir up a sangria perfect for giving thanks in less time than it takes to baste the turkey.

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

Serves 8

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup


  • 2 cups

    apple cider

  • 750ml bottle cava (or other dry sparkling wine), chilled

  • 1/4 cup

    pomegranate seeds


  1. Add the apples to a large pitcher reserving about 1/2 cup for garnishing. Add the cognac, apple cider, and chilled cava. Stir.

  2. Fill the pitcher with ice. Pour the sangria into glasses filled with ice and top with sliced apple and pomegranate seeds.

Recipe Notes

Non-Alcoholic Version: You can easily make this a non-alcoholic sangria by removing the cognac and replacing the cava with seltzer water or club soda.