Met Recipes: Pitcher Perfect Cider Sangria

Five minutes. Five Ingredients. Five Servings. Plenty of Thanks.

There’s no better way to greet guests and kick off your holiday soiree than with a pre-dinner cocktail.  This simple and refreshing Thanksgiving treat will help keep guests entertained while buying you a little extra time in the kitchen.

Sangria traditionally consists of red wine with chopped fruit and is often combined with other juices or brandy.  The amount of sweetness mostly depends on the type of wines and juices you select, while the fruits add a hint of natural flavors.  This ‘wine cocktail’ is best served chilled and it’s preferred to allow the fruit to marinate in its liquid base.

This holiday version calls for apple cider instead of brandy, an appropriate substitution to balance sweetness and due to its thematic nature.  And let’s be honest, on Thanksgiving we’re saving those extra calories for eating with abandon.  Not to forget, apple cider has a delicate blend of autumnal spices boiled in which adds to the flavor of this beverage.

Regarding the choice of wine, Pinot Noir’s mostly have a light to medium body with an aroma and flavor that are reminiscent of red or black berry fruits.  Pinot Noir is a popular red wine due to its fair balance of sweet and dry taste, stemming from the black grape.  This wine is typically served at room temperature.  For this Thanksgiving version, if you’re aiming for a sweeter drink beyond the Pinot Noir and apple cider coupling, try a cranberry wine instead. Cranberry wines are sweeter than traditional reds.

Holiday servings are all about the details so be sure to coat the rim of your drinks with a mix of cinnamon and sugar as you prepare the serving glasses. Add an apple or pear slice as a garnish for its autumn appeal.

This light, smooth and tasty pre-dinner cocktail is sure to enlighten your guests and make everyone a little more thankful (and bearable) this Thursday.  


Cider Sangria


Photo courtesy of Jacob Pacheco

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 5

Recommendations: Chill covered in fridge for 4+ hours


1 bottle of red wine: Pinot Noir

2 cups apple cider

1 honeycrisp apple

1 pear

2 whole cinnamon sticks

Coat rim and Garnish (Optional)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 fruit slice per glass


  1. Rinse apple and pear, remove stem and core, chop into 1 inch pieces. 
  2. Add fruit and cinnamon sticks into pitcher.
  3. Pour apple cider and wine into pitcher then stir.
  4. Cover pitcher opening and place in refrigerator to chill and marinate.
  5. (Optional) Mix sugar and cinnamon and coat glass rim and add garnish.
  6. Pour cider sangria over minimal ice and enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Jacob Pacheco


  • For best flavor results, make the sangria the night before serving.
  • Store leftover sangria covered in the refrigerator up to 48 hours.
  • Pre-made liquid apple cider can be found near the produce isle in local grocers. It’s usually kept chilled.
  • The brand of wine doesn’t matter.  Any fruity, medium bodied, somewhat dry red wine will do.
  • Although sangria is considered a wine punch, it’s easier to make, store and pour using a pitcher as opposed to a punch bowl.


Related: Looking for a unique dessert? Check out Met Media’s Scottish shortbread recipe by clicking here.

Author: Jacob Pacheco

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