Essence of Eats: Apple Cider Sangria

It’s like the week of eating and drinking here on Essence of Erika, and honestly, why the hell not? There are six (count em!) days left until Thanksgiving and if your dinner party is going to be anything like mine, you’ve already started cooking, are frantically searching for every last folding chair you own, are cleaning like a nut while trying to do homework and live-tweet #TGIT, all while trying to figure out where you’re going to stuff the 21 family members, their significant others and children who are coming for dinner. Also, if you’re anything like me, you definitely need wine. Lots of wine. Like, a case. Maybe two. 

Some people don’t like wine and that’s fine. More for me. In the event that you don’t like wine, or you do and you just want a festive Thanksgiving drink (which I also make around Christmas time), I present to you: My apple cider sangria. 

This stuff is like crack. In the words of Taylor Swift, “don’t say I didn’t warn ya,” kapish? There are two bottles of vodka plus one bottle of wine in this recipe, so when your crazy aunt asks if you forgot the alcohol, just laugh at her and hand her some cheese and crackers, because she’s going to be on her butt in approximately five minutes. Also worth noting: Make sure the tiny humans know that this is for the grown-ups only. All that alcohol is disguised in apple cider, so it’s easy for them to get confused. You can make them feel like they’re having what you’re having by getting some regular cider and slicing up some extra apples to put in it!



What you’ll need

  • Two 750 mL or one 1.5 L, bottle(s) of vanilla or caramel vodka, whichever you prefer. I used Three Olives Vanilla this year. The caramel was too sweet for me last year.
  • 1 bottle of your favorite white wine (I used Matua Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 gallon of your favorite apple cider (buy local!)
  • One 1/2 L bottle of plain seltzer/soda water
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 apples, cored and chopped (I used Cortlands)
  • A 2 or 3 gallon container



Let’s make it

      1. Wash, core and chop your apples. Set them aside.
      2. Add vodka, wine, apple cider, cinnamon and nutmeg to container. 
      3. Stir in chopped apples.
      4. Cover container and let the cider mull for at least three days. The longer it mulls, the better it will taste. The apples will sink to the bottom when the cider is ready to drink.
      5. Just prior to serving, add the bottle of seltzer to the container and mix in.
      6. Enjoy and tell your guests to visit for the recipe for all their holiday parties in December! :)
      That’s it! I prefer this cider served cold. If you prefer a warm cider, nix the wine and vodka, substitute Applejack bourbon (same amount as the vodka) and mull with the rest of the ingredients, please one teaspoon of vanilla extract, for 3-4 hours in a Crockpot on medium-to-low heat.



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