We’re in the middle of spiced drink season. Not only at coffeehouses, but also at your friendly neighborhood watering holes. Half the populace is on board with it, and the other half wants to smash every glass they encounter like a pumpkin on the street. To those readers who fall into the latter category, please check your prejudice for 60 seconds.
One, there is a right way and a wrong way to do the spice trend. And two, the drink featured here – an Apple Pie Sangria from Nara Lounge – has been served for more than nine years, making it something of an OG of spiced drinks.
“It started off as one of our fall season specials when we first opened,” General Manager Joseph Tohme told us. “It was such a hit that we kept it as a mainstay.” Following Nara’s renovation last March, they updated their bar program to use more house-made, organic ingredients – which meant that the sangria got an update, too. Behold, a spiced autumn cocktail made without pumps from a dubious bottle of factory-made syrup. Consider the bar set.
Apple Pie Sangria
Nara’s Joseph Tohme keeps his restaurant’s exact recipe tight to the vest, but outlined the essentials for folks to DIY at home (see below). Don’t worry, as precision is beside the point. Sangria is a kitchen sink, “what’s on hand and what you like” libation.
For a batch at home, I made a pitcher based on one bottle of dry white wine. I advise you to do the same, but play around with the rest to suit your taste. Pro tip: Try swapping in a non-alcoholic sparkling cider for the ginger ale.
Fresh lemon juice
Fresh apple juice
Cinnamon simple syrup (see below)
Cinnamon sticks for garnish, optional
Cinnamon simple syrup: To make simple syrup, mix equal parts of granulated sugar and water in a sauce pan and simmer until it creates a uniform consistency. To make cinnamon simple syrup, just add powdered cinnamon or cinnamon sticks at the beginning of the simmer to infuse.
In a large pitcher, add all the ingredients and stir to blend. Add ice (optional), then top with ginger ale (or sparkling cider). Give it one more quick stir and pour into wine glasses. Garnish each with a cinnamon stick for the ultimate fall feel.
248 Atwells Ave
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