Fall Harvest Sangria

Celebrate the arrival of Autumn with a glass of this Fall Harvest Sangria.  It’s full of your favorite fruits, and it can be made with either red or white wine!

Celebrate the arrival of Autumn with a glass of this Fall Harvest Sangria.  It's full of your favorite fruits, and it can be made with either red or white wine!15 years ago, I was living down in south Louisiana working for a bank.  I loved south Louisiana.  I hated working in banking.  I was one year out of college, and I assumed I’d be going to business school at some point.  Then one Sunday afternoon, I was hanging out at my apartment pool chatting with one of my neighbors.  As conversations often go when you just meet someone, the attention turned to our jobs.  She was about to start her job teaching 3rd and 4th graders at a small, private school there in Baton Rouge.

Celebrate the arrival of Autumn with a glass of this Fall Harvest Sangria.  It's full of your favorite fruits, and it can be made with either red or white wine!Somehow I mentioned that I had studied Classical Studies in college, and her eyes lit up.  Do you want to teach Latin?  I’m pretty sure I half-laughed and looked to see if she was talking to someone behind me.  Nope.  No one there.  “Uh, I don’t have a clue how to teach.”  “That’s ok.  The principal will teach you how to manage the classroom.  We need a Latin teacher, and school starts this week.”  Fast forward 2 weeks, and I was preparing to walk into the classroom.  Me.  A Latin teacher.  Teaching 3rd-12th graders Latin.

During my interview for the position, I was asked to teach a sample lesson to several kids.  The topic could be anything related to Classical Studies, and I chose to talk about how Latin influences are all around us.  Aside from the fact that ~50% of the English language comes from Latin, there are literally hundreds of references to Roman + Greek culture and mythology.  I brought in some Mardi Gras beads, and we talked about how a bunch of the Mardi Gras parades get their names from Roman and Greek mythology.  Bacchus, Orpheus, Endymion, Hermes…the list goes on.  Then I held up a bottle of Ajax scrubbing powder.  Sure enough, the name comes from a famous Greek hero from the Trojan War.

Celebrate the arrival of Autumn with a glass of this Fall Harvest Sangria.  It's full of your favorite fruits, and it can be made with either red or white wine!Another example?  I held up a pomegranate, and I asked the kids what that piece of fruit had to do with Latin.  Well, according to Greek mythology, the pomegranate was the ‘fruit of the underworld.’  Persephone, daughter of Demeter, was kidnapped and taken to the underworld where she ate 6 pomegranate seeds.  Her mother came down asking for the return of Persephone, and Hades (king of underworld) negotiated a deal.  Since Persephone had eaten 6 pomegranate seeds, she had to spend 6 months of every year in the underworld.  Demeter, Persephone’s mother, was the goddess of the fields and harvest, and she would mourn for the six months each year when her daughter was gone.  And that’s how the ancient Greeks explained the 6 cold months of winter when no crops would grow.

Celebrate the arrival of Autumn with a glass of this Fall Harvest Sangria.  It's full of your favorite fruits, and it can be made with either red or white wine!Fall Harvest Sangria

Ok, enough of that little history lesson.  But as I stood at the sink last week picking out the pomegranate seeds for this Fall Harvest Sangria, I couldn’t help but think back to the myth of Persephone.  On a side note, picking out pomegranate seeds is a real pain in the you-know-what.  The seeds (the edible part of the fruit) are embedded in the flesh (the inedible part), and they’re not the easiest to get out.  One trick that I picked up somewhere along the line is to cut the pomegranate in half and put it in a bowl of water in the sink.  Then go along popping out the seeds underwater.  It works!

Once I’d collected enough pomegranate seeds, I set about chopping up the other fruit for this Fall Harvest Sangria.  Apples, pears, oranges.  It all goes in.  Add some apple cider, brandy and a bit of orange juice, and you’ve got the base for one tasty drink!  We’ve actually made this Fall Harvest Sangria with both red and white wines.  Same exact recipe, just changing up which type of wine we use.  For this round, I used white, but red works equally as well!  Just make sure to pick a lighter wine, like pinot grigio (white) or pinot noir (red).

Celebrate the arrival of Autumn with a glass of this Fall Harvest Sangria.  It's full of your favorite fruits, and it can be made with either red or white wine!

Now that Labor Day and Summer are behind us (already!?), what’s coming up on your weekend agenda?  Apple picking?  Raking leaves?  I’m thinking a glass of this Fall Harvest Sangria would go well with whatever activities you have in store.  Cheers, friends!  Oh, and if you make a batch of this Fall Harvest Sangria, come back and let me know what you think.  Or take a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).

Looking for more tasty drink recipes?  Check out some of these other favorites!

Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail

Rusty Nail

New Orleans Hurricane

Classic Bloody Mary

Celebrate the arrival of Autumn with a glass of this Fall Harvest Sangria.  It's full of your favorite fruits, and it can be made with either red or white wine!

Fall Harvest Sangria

Celebrate the arrival of Autumn with a glass of this Fall Harvest Sangria.  It’s full of your favorite fruits, and it can be made with either red or white wine!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 305kcal

Ingredients

For Sangria

  • 1 750-ml bottle light white wine, such as Pinot Grigio (see note)
  • 2 cups spiced apple cider
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 green apple thinly sliced
  • 1 pear thinly sliced
  • 1 orange thinly sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • club soda

For the Cinnamon Rim

  • 3 Tbsp coarse sugar like turbanado or cane sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  • Using a large container, add wine, cider, brandy, orange juice and honey; whisk together until well combined. Add fruit (apples, pear and orange), pomegranate seeds and cinnamon sticks; stir.
  • Refrigerate 2-8 hours. (Note: The sangria should be cold after about 2 hours, but it will taste better if you let it sit for up to 24 hours.)
  • To make Cinnamon Rim for glasses, combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow plate. Invert glasses and dip rims in water and then dip into sugar mixture.
  • Fill glasses with sangria. Top with a splash of club soda before serving.

Notes

We've actually made this Fall Harvest Sangria with both red and white wines. Same exact recipe, just changing up which type of wine we use. Just make sure to pick a lighter wine, like pinot grigio (white) or pinot noir (red).

Celebrate the arrival of Autumn with a glass of this Fall Harvest Sangria.  It's full of your favorite fruits, and it can be made with either red or white wine!

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32 Comments

  1. What a coincidence! I left my banking job to go back to school to get a teacher’s license! But I didn’t teach Latin, just middle school language arts. Anyway, I am in LOVE with this sangria. Totally perfect for fall! We might go to our local “apple” festival this weekend so this would be great for when we get back. 🙂

    1. No way! What a coincidence, Sherri. I’m guessing you felt about the same as me with the working in banking thing. I do miss teaching. Since I didn’t have a teaching certificate, I would’ve had to go back and get another undergrad degree (at least according to the great state of NY), so the teaching route didn’t go far…but maybe in the future? In the meantime, let’s enjoy fall! Apple festivals are one of the best things about this time of the year, and I can’t wait til our local orchard opens up the rows of honeycrisp for U-pick! 🙂

  2. This sounds wonderful. I think white wine would be prettier with the cider and o.j. I’m definitely ready for fall. But then, I always am. Great story, btw.

    1. Thanks so much, Mimi! To be honest, the white wine looked nicer, but I really don’t know which one I preferred taste wise. Just depends on your mood really! 🙂

  3. You aren’t kidding about how difficult pomegranates are to de-seed. Do you think that’s why Persephone only ate six seeds? That’s probably all she could extract :). But this sangria! Every time I see a sangria recipe, I curse the migraine gods that wine is one of my triggers. This sounds so good and I want a big glass!

    1. Hah! I’ve never thought about it, but I think you might be onto something with the pomegranate and seeding. Those things are silly! It probably took poor Persephone 6 months to get those 6 seeds. Haha! I’m sorry to hear that wine is a no-go for you. But does that mean I can have your glass of sangria? 🙂

  4. I’ve seen Jamie Oliver de-seed pomegranate and he makes it look so neat and non messy. When I do it (even with the bowl of water), it’s like I let out my inner artist and there’s juice EVERYWHERE. Ha! I think it’s worth it, though, cause they’re so pretty. Loving the fall vibes and warming flavours in this sangria, David! So pretty too! Cheers, my friend 🙂

    1. I have no idea how Jamie Oliver makes de-seeding pomegranates look easy. They’re not easy at all. They’re a mess! But I do love those little arils inside. Forget artist, it looks like a murder scene whenever I de-seed a pomegranate. There’s red juice everywhere! Anyhoo, I agree with you about fall, and this sangria is a great way to celebrate! 🙂

  5. I love the story of how you became a Latin teacher and the everyday examples you used to teach the kids are just genius. I bet they still remember!

    Just loving this festive, autumn sangria – that rim is mouthwatering! Perfect for the holidays that will be upon us before we know it. 😉

    1. You know, I really did have a lot of fun teaching Latin! Unfortunately, I was limited to private schools (no teaching certificate in state of New York), and the school where I was teaching stopped their Latin program in favor of Chinese. Bummer! Oh well.

      Now I am ready for fall and chilly mornings, but don’t talk about the holidays yet! That’s just too soon! 🙂 Thanks so much, Marissa. And cheers!

  6. “Latin’s a dead language, it’s very plain to see. It killed off all the Romans, and now it’s killing me.” — My 6th grade Latin teacher.

    This sounds like a wonderful fall twist. To be honest, it’s the cinnamon rim that sells it :).

    1. What!? Please tell me you remember more than just that quote from 6th grade Latin! 🙂

      Also, I agree with you about the cinnamon rim. Just like a salt rim on margaritas…except seasoned, well, for the season! Thanks so much, Bill!

    1. Thank you so much, Dawn. I really appreciate your comment! I do enjoy sharing fun stories whenever they intersect with the recipe…and sometimes I just share the story even if it doesn’t match the recipe. Haha! But, yes, this sangria is really tasty. Perfect for these early fall days! Cheers, my friend!

  7. Sounds really yummy, David. Will have to give it a try soon.

    Your story reminds me how much I liked the classics in school. I can still remember that book on Greek mythology from 3rd grade. Loved learning about each of the gods and their personalities and intrigues. Fascinated by the idea of living in a shining city on top of Mount Olympus, throwing lightning bolts…

    1. You know, I’m 99.99% sure that mythology is what hooked me into Latin. Who knew that I would just keep on taking Latin courses and then end up teaching it, too!? Edith Hamilton’s “Mythology” is a classic, and I still keep a copy of that book on my shelf. Thanks so much, Frank!

  8. This sangria looks like the perfect treat for these late summer days when it’s still hot but we’re eagerly anticipating fall weather and flavors! And wow – I knew that you’d taught Latin, but not how quickly your first teaching job began. That must have been quite a hectic time in your life!

    1. I totally hear ya, Mara! We spent last weekend in Vermont, and it was a little taste of Autumn weather. Then we returned to mid-90’s temps here this week. Umph! I feel like I’ve been spending half of my day outside watering the grass. But I see that tomorrow should feel like Autumn…and I can’t wait! Speaking of tomorrow, it’s Friday. I think another batch of sangria might be in order!

      And, yes, that was a crazy time when I started teaching. I went from zero to teaching my first lesson in about 2 weeks…but I loved it! 🙂

  9. Was it that banking job where you had free donuts on Fridays? That wasn’t that bad job after all 🙂 But I certainly love your chapter about being a Latin professor more – I’ll never get tired of these stories. Also, I won’t get tired of this Sangria either. The thing is (as you know), that I’m not working with autumn fruits yet, but I’ll gladly accept any gifts. Do you think I can expect this Sangria by Friday? Pleeeease.

    1. That was indeed the banking job where I got all of the doughnuts. Well, to be fair, that banking job was in North Carolina. I had moved by that point to Louisiana. Still working in banking, but that bank didn’t have customers who brought us doughnuts!

      So I really loved my time as a Latin professor. In fact, I’d probably be tempted to go back if I didn’t have to deal with the whole teaching certificate thing. The great state of New York wanted me to go back to school for 4 more years in order to teach here. No thanks.

      I’m pouring some sangria in an envelope and mailing it to you today, Ben. I hope it arrives safely.

  10. You are a wealth of knowledge, David! School started for us this week and while we don’t have a Latin teacher, or any foreign language teachers, anyone in the teaching profession knows this is the most exhausting week in the entire year! It’s also the absolute best week in the entire year! A sangria is just what I could use to toast the end of this week! 🙂

    1. Oh gosh, the first week of school back is always a tough one. The students aren’t ready to settle down, and the teachers are trying to find that routine. But it’s also an exciting week! The anticipation of the year ahead is always so much fun. No Latin teacher, eh? Are you hiring? 😉

      And, yes, a glass of sangria would be a great way to celebrate the end of this week!

  11. Professor David, you left us hanging. How went the teaching job? Did you make it through the semester? And what about the neighbor, “she”. Your secrets are safe with us.
    Now about that Fall Harvest Sangria, “smashing” absolutely “smashing”. My wife is a teaching coordinator and I’m sure she’ll enjoy your story and the Sangria.

    1. Hey Ron! So I did indeed make it through that semester. Not only the semester…the whole year. I loved teaching! I ended up leaving that job to go back to grad school. But funny enough, I returned to teaching Latin for a couple of years when we landed up here in upstate New York. That was a good 10 years after my first foray into teaching…but it felt like riding a bike. Unfortunately, that school decided to end their Latin program after just 2 years in favor of Chinese. So I was out of a job. (That’s when I jumped into the blog world.) I really miss teaching, but I don’t have a teaching certificate, and the great state of New York wants me to go back and get another undergrad degree in order to teach. Uh, no thanks. I’ll just stick to making sangria and taking pictures in my basement! Haha. 🙂 Cheers, my friend!

    1. It really is strange thinking back about big changes in our lives. That whole Latin teacher thing came about thanks to a conversation with a neighbor at our apartment swimming pool. And I loved teaching Latin! Hope the move/planning is going well, Nicole! 🙂

  12. Oh how delicious! Sangria is one of my favorite drinks and I love this twist on it. I can imagine this a all sorts of holiday parties. Perfect for Thanksgiving. Love the story about how you landed Latin teaching gig. 🙂

    1. I love sangria as well, Valentina. It’s such an easy drink to make, but it sounds super fancy. And it’s always a big hit whenever I mix up a batch for a party around here! This Fall-themed one is certainly quite tasty. Thanks so much, my friend!

  13. I don’t think I’ve heard the exact story behind how you came to be a Latin Teacher! Dude, sounds like you rocked that first teaching evaluation out of the park! Gosh, I know if I had had any one language teacher who made the language seem so much fun and so relevant, I’d probably know at least one other language!
    Now, to this delightful Harvest Sangria – it sounds delicious! Loving the warming flavors in it – and no kidding, pomegranates are a pain to open but they are so worth it though!

    1. Hah…yeah, it was a really random way that I stumbled into teaching Latin. But I really did love that job! It stinks that New York state wanted me to go back and get another undergrad degree in order to teach. But then again, that’s what eventually led to the food blog. It’s all related in the end!

      Thanks so much, Shashi! Let’s grab a glass of sangria and hang out this weekend? 🙂

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