This hard apple cider sangria is a great pitcher drink for the upcoming holiday celebrations and for gatherings with friends. This cider sangria is made with an assortment of fall/winter fruits, from apples to persimmons, a spiced ginger simple syrup, Calvados or apple brandy, sparkling wine, and dry apple soda. This sangria is a small tribute to Washington state, there’s been an increase in hard cider production in the state and I wanted to prepare a cocktail using local cider. Apples and pears are grown in Eastern Washington, and the pears I used for this recipe were a gift from a good friend’s family orchard in the Entiat Valley.
I also recently discovered fruity dry sodas, which are sparkling soda like drinks made with few ingredients (including less sugar and using pure cane sugar), and it just happens that the company DRY Soda Co is a local Seattle company (no compensation has been provided to mention/use their product, I just really love it). They have an apple dry soda, which is perfect to top off this sparkling hard apple cider sangria. If you can’t find the apple dry soda, you can use sparkling apple juice or simply sparkling water if the sangria is sweet enough. [read more]
This easy to make spiced ginger simple syrup is prepared with sugar (or panela/piloncillo), fresh ginger, cinnamon, cloves, all spice, and water. I originally made this ginger simple syrup to spice up my hard cider sangria recipe. I made more than I needed for that recipe and have since used the rest of it to sweeten drinks, it works for any cocktail where you want a hint of spice flavor as well as for tea and coffee. This spiced simple syrup can also be made using panela or piloncillo and will have a richer more intense flavor, similar to miel de panela. The panela or piloncillo spiced simple syrup will work great as a topping for pancakes, waffles and even cakes.