The temperatures have finally dropped and it finally feels like fall! I love fall! Until the first snow lands, of course. Not that I need an excuse to make a pitcher of sangria, but this Autumn Sangria is the perfect thing to sip on during these colorful and brisk fall months. Also, isn’t the word autumn fabulous? And you can describe autumn things by using an even better word, autumnal!
This recipe came about, not from necessity, but from an idea to make our favorite sangria taste seasonal. My sister, Ally, and I love to visit Rockwell Republic in downtown Grand Rapids not only for their fantastic sushi and happy hour deals, but also for their mixed sangria. I’m not sure exactly what their recipe is, but this tastes similar, with a fall twist.
1 cup Crown Royal Apple
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup red wine (use dry or sweet depending on your taste)
1 cup crisp, dry white wine (this helps the apple flavor pop)
1 cinnamon stick
1 each honey-crisp apple, nectarine, plum, pear
1/2 cup apple juice
1 bottle prosecco or champagne
In a large pitcher, combine the crown, juices, and wines. Heat the cinnamon stick over heat until fragrant and add in. Feel free to cut the fruit however you like to munch on it, but I sliced them super thin on a mandolin which helped the fruit to absorb the flavors faster. Add the fruit and refrigerate until ready to serve. Fill with several ice cubes and top with a bottle of bubbly! Serve with your favorite friends around a cozy bonfire.
Trust me, I know this sounds weird but it’s an excellent combination. The cucumber lends a fresh lightness to the blackberry and the gin just kicks it up a notch. There are a couple ways you can play this. The first time I made this drink, I sliced the cucumber thinly and added it to the glass that already had a couple blackberries muddled. Then I added the gin and topped it off with bubbly. If you are making this for a crowd, try the recipe below!
As you all know, the bubbly pictured above is one of my go tos, and it’s easy on the wallet. French 75’s are one of my very favorite drinks. Traditionally, it contains gin, simple syrup, lemon, and bubbly. Gin has that herbaceous quality that lends itself well to this version.
Cucumber-Blackberry French 75
1 pint blackberries
1/2 cup simple syrup
1 english cucumber
1 lemon, zested
bubbly (prosecco or champange)
Combine the blackberries, lemon zest, and simple syrup in a blender, saving a few for garnish. Strain well and reserve. Using a peeler, peel the cucumber into strips or slice thinly on a bias. Pour a tablespoon of blackberry-simple syrup into each glass. Add the cucumber garnish to the bottom of each glass. Add 1 ounce of gin and top with bubbly. Be careful not to pour too quickly because the bubbly will bubble more than usual because of the blackberry and cucumber. Also, it will help the bubbly to float, making an appealing look in the glass.