Fall Sangria is the best drink to bridge the season between the last days of summer and upcoming sweater weather. This sangria is made with fresh figs, orange zest, and warming Fall spices, like cinnamon and ginger. It's a sangria made with light red wine (we like Pinot Noir), and orange liquor (also called Cointreau). Top it with some sparkling wine for maximum festiveness!
This drink is special enough for a party (scale it up for a crowd), or special enough to make 2 for a date night at home. I actually like this sangria hot or cold! If you're making it warm, leave off the optional sparkling wine floater at the end.
I first had sangria when I lived outside Napa in graduate school. I love fruity cocktails, and I love wine, so I wasn't even shocked at how much I loved fresh pieces of fruit in my wine!
How to Make Fall Sangria
This Fall sangria utilizes a handful of fresh figs, and it's preferred if they're approaching the over-ripe stage. We'll also be calling on a strip of orange zest, and a few spices from the cabinet to bring the autumn vibe.
- The best type of red wine to use for sangria is a light, not full-bodied red wine. Pinot Noir is dry with notes of berries and warm spices. This is why it goes so well in this autumn sangria drink!
- A great way to finish the cocktail is with a splash of a dry sparkling wine, like Brut Rosé. This is what I do when I'm serving it for a crowd. But at home, just for my husband and myself, it's great without it.
- Light Red Wine. A dry fruity red wine, like Pinot Noir is the best thing to use in a fruity Fall sangria.
- Orange Liquor. Anything from the fanciest Cointreau to regular orange liquor that you use to make margaritas.
- Orange. We just need the zest of a fresh orange. Use a vegetable peeler to make two 3-inch strips of zest from a washed and well-scrubbed orange.
- Ground Cinnamon.
- Ground Ginger. Dried ground ginger brings an earthiness and warm spice flavor to this drink. I love it so much.
- Fresh Figs. While my homemade fig newtons call for dried figs, this sangria is what I make when I have a surplus of fresh figs. It uses up 8 whole figs, which is about half a pint from the farmer's market. I prefer Mission or Kadota figs, but if you have a fig tree, use whatever you have!
- Sparkling Wine. This is an optional floater. If you decided to use it, try a Brut Rosé.
- Gather all of the ingredients for the recipe. Have the wine chilled if you would like to serve this iced, or at room temperature if you'd like to serve it warm. If you're serving it warm, omit the sparkling wine.
- Chop the figs into quarters, and add them to a large quart-sized mason jar. Add the red wine, orange liquor, orange zest, and spices. Muddle this mixture very well so that the spices dissolve.
- Stir everything together very well one last time, and then place a strainer over the jar. Divide the liquid between two wine glasses.
- Top each glass with sparkling wine, if you like. Garnish with a slice of fig and an additional orange twist.
Other red wine cocktails you might like:
- 1 ½ cups light red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
- ¼ cup Cointreau (orange liquor)
- 2 3" strips orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- 8 whole fresh figs, chopped
- ½ cup sparkling wine for topping (I used Brut Rose)
- Gather all ingredients, and have ready 2 serving glasses. If you're serving this chilled, ensure both wines are sufficiently chilled. If you're serving it hot, skip the sparkling wine, and have the red wine at room temperature.
- In a large mason jar or bowl, combine all ingredients except sparkling wine. Use a muddler to break up the figs and smash the citrus zest to release the oils. Mix very well to ensure the spices are fully dissolved.
- Let sit for a few minutes, and then strain into two wine glasses. If you're serving it cold, place a few ice cubes in the glass before straining. If you're serving it warm, strain it into a pan, and warm over low heat on the stove.
- If you're serving this chilled, top with sparkling wine just before serving.
Wine: A dry (not sweet) fruity red wine, like Pinot Noir is the best thing to use here.
Orange Liquor.: Either Cointreau to regular orange liquor.
Fresh Figs: I prefer Mission or Kadota figs, but if you have a fig tree, use whatever you have!
Sparkling Wine: This is an optional topping, if you're serving it cold. If you decided to use it, try a Brut Rosé. If you're serving this warm, omit.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 7gSugar: 41gProtein: 2g