Sangria is usually designated as a summer time drink, it is wine with ice cubes in it after all, but I love it in the fall. Imagine mulled wine, but a little sexier, and definitely served before dinner as an aperitif. This recipe is one of my favorites, using seasonal fruit like apples and pears, and instead of classic red wine, turning to a round, oaky chardonnay or a bright and fizzy Flemish apple cider (or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous…both?). I looks gorgeous in the pitcher, and tastes even better in your glass.


1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 pink lady apples, cored and sliced thinly

1 large pear, cored and sliced thinly

3 fresh rosemary sprigs

1 orange, sliced

1 cup cranberries

3 bottles of chardonnay or flemish apple cider


First, make the brown sugar syrup by combining a 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar with 1/2 a cup of water in a small pot.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cook until the sugar has melted (about 5 minutes), and remove the pot from the heat.  Let it cool to room temperature.

Combine the apples, pear, rosemary, cranberries, orange slices, and wine in two pitchers. Add the sugar syrup a little at a time until it’s at the desired sweetness. Pop the pitchers in the fridge for 2 hours (up to 2 days) to let the flavors mingle. If using apple cider, just combine ala minute. Fill the pitchers with ice and serve.