Try This: Cider Sangria

File this one under “ultimate summer refreshment”: cold, fruity, infinitely drinkable sangria, made with Jack’s Hard Cider! We love experimenting with our crisp, dry handcrafted ciders behind the bar, and when we hit upon this recipe, we knew we had a winner. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which a pitcher or two of this luscious libation wouldn’t be welcome: brunch alfresco, a baby or wedding shower, a casual picnic or even just some poolside sipping.

Sangria is a beverage with Spanish origins; it is widely understood that the drink’s name comes from the word sangre, which means “blood.” Many iterations of sangria are indeed deep red, from the wine commonly used as a base. But like many classic cocktails, sangria has taken on a life of its own over the decades, reinterpreted again and again by professional and at-home bartenders.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad sangria out there. People often assume that adding a ton of fruit and sugar will mask the undesirable flavors of subpar wine, or they go way overboard with the mix-ins, resulting in a sickly sweet drink or a cup that resembles fruit salad more than it does a beverage.

We’re happy to say that Jack’s Hard Cider’s version of sangria avoids all those common pitfalls. We start with high-quality white wine—at our tasting room, we use Hauser Estate’s Abe’s Apple Wine as the base, then let the natural, balanced sweetness of our Helen’s Blend stand in for white sugar. We keep the fruit minimal (no awkward grapes floating around your glass) with local peaches, and then add a fun touch of summer with garden-fresh basil.

Mix up a batch yourself, and enjoy your new favorite seasonal cocktail!

Jack’s Hard Cider Sangria

Ingredients

  • 2 bottles white wine, chilled (use Abe’s Apple Wine, like we do, or substitute a crisp, fruity Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 6 cups Jack’s Hard Cider, chilled (any variety will do, but we love Helen’s Blend)
  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • White sugar (optional, if you like a sweeter drink)

Method

  1. Pour the wine into a large pitcher. Add Jack’s Hard Cider, toss in the peaches and basil, and stir in the sugar, if using, until dissolved.
  2. To serve, pour into large wine glasses, and enjoy!

Jack’s Hard Cider — Produced from Pennsylvania Apples. Pressed On-Site. Never from Concentrate.

Emily Kovach

Featured image and sangria photo: Polly Patrono; Abe’s Apple Wine photo: Melinda Wood