Cocktail of the Month: Warm Apple Pie Sangria

The holidays are approaching quickly and if you're hosting, there's no better time to serve batch cocktails to your guests.  If your family is anything like mine, everyone has different tastes when it comes to alcohol.  This cocktail is perfect for younger guests (over the age of 21, of course) who want a cocktail that packs a punch, older guests who want a cocktail that goes down smoothly, and everyone else in between.  And guess what?  It can be served warm or room temperature.  It really is perfect for everyone!


  • 6 apples
  • 3 pears
  • 750 mL Fireball whiskey
  • 1 bottle Pinot Grigio
  • 64 oz. apple cider
  • 1 liter seltzer water


  1. Chop apples and pears into bite-size chunks.

  2. Place the cut fruit in a bowl and drown in Fireball whiskey. Cover the bowl and let sit for at least an hour.

    *Note: I prefer Fireball Whiskey but you can use the cinnamon whiskey of your choice.  Also, the longer the fruit soaks, the more boozy it gets.  For me, the boozier...the better.

  3. In a large pitcher, pour in the wine, apple cider, and seltzer water.  Next, scoop in your soaked apples and stir.

    *Note: Don't just pour the soaked fruit concoction in with the wine, cider and seltzer water because it may not give it the taste you want.  Just scoop the apples in and add the whiskey juice as you see fit.

  4. If desired warm, pour sangria in a cup and put it in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Serve and enjoy! 

This recipe is for 10-15 servings and is guaranteed to be a hit with your guests.  They will be able to stuff themselves with food and still have enough room for this light and refreshing cocktail.  I am making this for my family so you should too.  Let me know how it turns out!

Cocktail of the Month: Cucumber Mint Sangria

As an aspiring wine snob, I tend to prefer my wine plain. My favorite example – why add orange juice when champagne is so great on its own? Sorry to all the mimosa devotees out there…I know my view is highly controversial.  This caveat aside, I can’t get enough of this Cucumber Mint Sangria.

Sangria is always a great drink choice for the summer, and this one is especially light and refreshing. The cucumbers and mint not only look beautiful in the glass, but it’s the perfect combo for a hot summer evening. Not to mention, I was really happy to get a chance to take advantage of myherb garden again while it lasts!  It’s such an easy drink to make too, if you haven’t already been convinced.

Another great thing about sangria is that it’s a nice way for people who maybe don’t love the dryness of wine too much to still get their wine fix, as the cucumbers and sweetness make the drink much more approachable. Plus, sangria is an excellent way to take advantage of an inexpensive bottle of wine since you’re mixing together so many different delicious flavors anyway.

Cucumber Mint Sangria


  • 1 seedless cucumber (thinly sliced)
  • 1 lime (thinly sliced)
  • fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc*


  1. Combine cucumber, lime slices, and mint leaves in a large pitcher. You can chop the mint a bit for added flavor, but the drink tends to look prettier if the leaves are whole.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together honey and lime juice until entirely combined.
  3. Pour the lime juice and honey mixture into the pitcher.
  4. Pour in wine and stir gently.
  5. Cover and chill for at least two hours, and then serve!

*I used a Sauvignon Blanc, but any drier white would go well. You could try a dry Riesling or Pinot Grigio, but I would avoid Chardonnay because the heaviness of the flavor may not mix as well.

The Cucumber Mint Sangria is the perfect refreshing, light drink to savor in these last days of summer. At 170 calories a glass, this drink isn’t too bad if you’re worried about your diet. And if you’re looking for something even lighter, there’s always the option of topping the drink off with a bit of soda water and turning it into a spritzer!  Cheers!

-Noori Chishti