Make ahead apple sangria ready for your Autumn gatherings. Refreshing, festive and easy: Sparkling Apple Bourbon Sangria with a hint of ginger and cinnamon.
New to Bourbon Sangria?
It’s easy peasy to pull together and tastes better with a little time to mingle in the fridge. Sangria’s not just for summer. It offers ready made cocktails that’ll help free your hands for other tasks like greeting guests, finishing up the Apple Dumplings, or for lazin’ on the couch enjoying appetizers. I’m partial to the latter, ahem.
What is Sangria?
Sangria is a catch-all term for wine based, fruit filled pitcher cocktails that improve with time while hanging out in the fridge. Sangria is served over ice, for a most refreshing experience.
For this apple bourbon sangria, I’ve included white wine, a glug bourbon (okay, more than a glug), a bit of maple syrup, ginger and cinnamon sticks. Top it off with sparkling apple juice for some festive bubbles.
What Does Sangria with Bourbon Taste Like?
Bourbon’s caramel and vanilla notes completely win me over and they shine when paired with apples. Like peas and carrots, perfect partners in every way whether together in a cocktail, pie or cobbler. The combination just works.
These holiday bourbon cocktails are subtly sweet with a hint of cinnamon and ginger. When I taste this apple sangria cocktail, it reminds me of apple pie.
When it comes to holiday cocktails, I’m particularly fond of refreshing cocktails, preferring icy and bubbly over the stronger, straight varieties. Never-mind the cold, windy, driving rain outside. Stress and being with those we love often need a counter balance.
It’s hot in the kitchen anyway (or maybe on the couch too), so why not have a little sipper on the side. The adults in my life appreciate this nevertheless. It helps us all get along perhaps a little better during the holidays.
Ingredients for Sparkling Apple Bourbon Sangria
Sangria always has a wine component. For this white sangria, I like chardonnay. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Bourbon Whiskey
- Maple Syrup
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Fresh Ginger
- Sparkling Apple
How to Make Apple Bourbon Sangria
Whip these holiday bourbon cocktails up at least eight hours in advance for best flavor. Here’s how to make apple sangria:
- First, in a pitcher or large jar, add the chardonnay, bourbon, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, ginger and apples.
- Next, stir to incorporate flavors.
- Last, cover and chill for at least two hours or up to 24 hours.
Just before serving, pour the sparkling apple juice in the pitcher or individually to top off low ball, ice filled glasses.
A Few Recipe Notes
- One Sparkling Apple Bourbon Sangria recipe will serve 8-9 servings in low ball glasses. But of course sangria goes down easy, so double the recipe if serving more than four adults. Figure at least two drinks per person.
- It’s not necessary to get expensive wine for sangria. It’ll be mixed with other flavors. This is my favorite chardonnay.
- If serving right away, add the Sparkling Apple juice directly to the pitcher of sangria. If serving as singles, hold off adding the Sparkling Apple to the pitcher and instead, top off each glass individually.
- The cinnamon comes through more so after at least 8 hours of refrigerator time, even more on the second day. So if you have time, make this at least 12-18 hours in advance.
- Due to the sugar content of this recipe, the apples stay crisp and hold their creamy white color for at least 8 hours – so don’t worry about that! Their flavor improves with time too!
More Holiday Cocktails
Sparkling Apple Bourbon Sangria
- 750 milliliters Chardonnay chilled
- 3/4 cup (165 grams) Bourbon Whiskey
- 2- 4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup to taste
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 inch Knob of Fresh Ginger skinned and sliced in 1/2
- 2 Apples your choice, cored and sliced
- 750 milliliters Sparkling Apple juice, chilled
- In a pitcher or large jar, add the chardonnay, bourbon, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, ginger and apples. Stir to incorporate flavors. Cover and chill for at least two hours or up to 24 hours. Just before serving pour the sparkling apple juice in the pitcher, taste for sweetness and add maple syrup if desired.
- Garnish with sliced apples sticks (sliced on a mandoline - French fry setting). Snack on the leftover apples!
Laura | Tutti Dolci
So pretty – the perfect seasonal drink!
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
Ok, it’s settled. I’m coming to your house for Thanksgiving next year! Everything you prepared looks unbelievable, including this flavorful sangria. I’m obsessed with these photos too. The light, the action shots…somehow you continue to outdo yourself every time. Beautiful work, Traci. I hope you had a wonderful holiday!
Ha! I’d love that Sarah! We could shoot, cook and clean together… and drink plenty of sangria! Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Sarah! xo
Agness of Run Agness Run
This is an awesome beverage recipe, Traci! My mouth is watering right now. Can I use honey instead of maple syrup?
Hey Agness! Thank you for your note… honey would be a delicious sub, but add to taste. I hope you enjoy the recipe Agness!
I bet this smells divine too.The apple and cinnamon and bourbon. GAH! perfecto my friend.
Gah is right! It may be too good, Linds! LOL
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
Yum – pour me a big glass, Traci! Beautiful shots all through this post! Wishing you and Rob a happy Thanksgiving – I am really looking forward to the 4 day break!
You got it Geraldine! Thank you so much… and I hope you had a fabulous Holiday! xo The 4 day break couldn’t have come at a better time, right?!
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
I love all of your big batch cocktails and this one does not disappoint! I can see this enjoying a prime spot on my holiday table!
Oh my goodness, yes! Just add to that holiday cheer Karen! xo
oooo this looks tasty. I like the fortification!
Thank you Ben… we’re certainly enjoying it!
Meg | Meg is Well
You’re making me rethink my beverage choice now! I was going to do a mulled wine because we’re having Thanksgiving outside but it’s going to be in the 70s and you’re right, the cooks get so hot. I know I would prefer this refreshing chilled sangria to a hot beverage.
Hey Meg… Thank you for stopping by! In the 70s?! Woah! How about mulled wine AND sangria!? .Happy Thanksgiving my dear! :D
Such a perfectly festive sangria recipe! Love the warm flavor profile of the spices contrasted by crisp apple, so tasty!
Thank you Luci! I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Izzy @ She Likes Food
I agree, I love refreshing cocktails too! I love this seasonal twist on sangria! It’s not exactly freezing here so this would be perfect haha! I hope you guys have fun plans that will involve lots of delicious food! We still don’t know what we’re doing but hopefully we figure it out soon haha! Happy Thanksgiving to you both! :)
Freezing or not, I do not discriminate when it comes to bourbon! haha… food yes, hiking, snowshoeing (if the weather pattern holds) and relaxing! Sort of a staycation! Hooray! Y’all have a great Holiday Izzy! .. I’m certain I’ll see some hiking on your Stories! xo
I’m a fan! I’m a fan! Just looking at it gets me excited for the season! I love that it’s make ahead…you’re always thinking, my friend! Thanks for sharing and have a beautiful Thanksgiving! XO
Yayaya!! I’m with ya, Annie! I’m hoping everyone’s home? You too my dear! xo
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
You know I’m loving this Traci! Such a delicious fall/winter sangria that’ll warm me right up! This is the perfect kind of cocktail for a crowd. Make ahead, so I can enjoy my time with my guests! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful holiday! XO
I’m with you Mary Ann… and a fan of Bourbon too :D Wishing you and Tom and fabulous holiday too xo