photograph by Amy Brinkley

One of the many things I love about fall is the seasonal produce it offers. My love for creating cocktails had me contemplating how I could incorporate seasonal fall fruits and spices into a delicious sangria, and I think I’ve found the answer. What screams fall more than a spiced cranberry apple sangria?

Taking minimal time to prepare, this sangria is perfect for your next fall get-together or celebration. The combination of cranberries, apples, and spices blends perfectly with a crisp pinot grigio that is not overly sweet.

This sangria is also budget-friendly. The fresh fruit and aromatic spices transform ordinary wine into something spectacular. Some might disagree, but I don’t think that you need a fine wine to make a good sangria. I’ve made sangrias using expensive wine, and the difference in taste isn’t worth the difference in price to me.

Who doesn’t love a good sangria? If you’re craving a taste of autumn, you must give this sangria a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Yield: 1 pitcher.

1 (1½ liter) bottle pinot grigio
2½ cups cran-apple juice
¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
3 lemons
Whole cloves for sodding lemon slices (about 10-30 for each lemon slice)

Pour wine, juice, and honey in a large pitcher. Add nutmeg and stir well to combine. Add cranberries, apples, and lemon slices studded with cloves. Stir gently. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours to overnight.

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Brinkley lives in coastal North Carolina, and blogs about all things food. She is regular contributor on the Our State website, Parade Magazine’s, and