Pumpkin Sangria with Bourbon

A perfect fall sangria, this Pumpkin Sangria with Bourbon features bourbon-soaked “fruit and booze” (apple and pear), a bottle of chardonnay with toasted vanilla notes, and bright, bubbly ginger beer. You may want to carry this delicious sangria through the holidays and beyond… It’s that good!

2 mason jars of pumpkin sangria with bourbon, fruit, ginger beer garnished with rosemary and cinnamon stick.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Recipe Inspiration

Whenever I make a pitcher of sangria, I find myself reminiscing about a lovely fall evening on our balcony overlooking the Organ Mountains in Las Cruces, New Mexico over a decade ago. My sister was visiting from California, and some of our kids were over. Our second son was a bartender, and he got creative with the sangria. It had a plethora of “fruit and booze,” and we did fine until we finished the pitcher and decided to eat all the brandy-soaked fruit. Yee haw! It was so delicious, but it was too much!

Years later, the “fruit and booze” still brings a chuckle. When I started brainstorming ideas for a fall sangria recipe, I really wanted to do something just a little different. Apples and cider are pretty typical in a fall sangria, but I didn’t see a lot of pumpkin-themed recipes. I am not a fan of “pumpkin spiced” everything, but I make homemade pumpkin butter that is easy and quite amazing. I want to taste the pumpkin along with the spice!

So, how did the bourbon end up in the mix? The vanilla flavor notes in bourbon just seemed like a perfect pairing with warm spices, pumpkin, and fall fruit like pear and apple. And what better way to top off the glass than with a couple of ounces of good ginger beer?

If you’re looking for a new cocktail recipe that’s easy to make for a gathering, you need to give this pumpkin sangria with bourbon a try!

📋 Ingredients

Ingredients for the fall sangria on a piece of wood: Pumpkin butter, fruit and bourbon, chardonnay, ginger beer, and sliced oranges.
  • fruit – I used seasonal fall fruits (pear and apple), but you can get creative with the fruit!
  • bourbon – While I never suggest reaching for spirits on the bottom shelf for sangria, you do want to use a solid bourbon. I chose one that I know has vanilla flavor notes as I love to layer flavors. Evan Williams is the bourbon we keep on hand for mixing, and it’s great.
  • chardonnay – Again, I’m not using expensive ingredients in this sangria. The Dark Horse Buttery Chardonnay is about $11.00 a bottle.
  • ginger beer – While I was testing this sangria recipe, we tried Fever Tree ginger beer, and Reed’s sugar free ginger beer. Both are non-alcoholic. We have used Bundaberg ginger beer in my pumpkin Kentucky mule. They’re all very good, but the spicy Reed’s was our favorite! If you want to add more alcohol 😳 Crabbie’s ginger beer is delicious. I’ve definitely used it (and love it), but we’re trying to reduce alcohol and calories, so I go for the no sugar/no alcohol Reed’s ginger beer.
  • garnishes – As you can see in the photos, I chose to garnish the sangria with rosemary sprigs (from my garden), cinnamon sticks, and slices of cara cara orange. We love the hint of fresh citrus!

See recipe card for quantities. 😀 This is not a sponsored post, these are just my recommendations… The two links to Amazon are affiliate links.

🔪 Instructions

step 1

The fresh pear and apple sliced alongside a bottle of bourbon and measuring cups.

Make the “fruit and booze” – Prepare your fruit. I used honeycrisp apples and red anjou pears. Choose the best quality available. Barely ripe or slightly under-ripe pears are best because they hold together better. Small dice or thin slices work best to maximize surface to bourbon ratio and allow it to macerate better. Add the bourbon. Macerate 1 to 3 hours.

NOTE: If the fruit is not covered, stir occasionally. The fruit does not have to be covered.

A jar with the apple, pear, and bourbon on a wood cutting board.

step 2

A glass pitcher with the pumpkin sangria with bourbon and minus the ginger beer with garnishes.

Prepare the pitcher of sangria – Strain the fruit from the bourbon, and set aside the fruit. Pour the bourbon into the pitcher, add the pumpkin butter, and stir to combine. Next, pour in the chilled bottle of chardonnay. Stir. Lastly, use a spoon to add the fruit (to avoid a mess!). Give it another stir. Chill until ready to serve.

Hint: Thoroughly chill all ingredients prior to making the sangria! 1 to 2 hours is ideal!

step 3

The fall sangria in mason jars before adding the ginger beer.

Serve the sangria – Add ice to glasses (I use a single large cube to minimize dilution). Fill glasses about 3/4 full, top off with ginger beer. Give it all a little stir, and garnish as desired. Cheers!

💭 Tips

Cheap wine makes bad sangria! You don’t need “top shelf” ingredients, but you should only use fresh, high-quality, ripe fruit, decent bourbon, decent chardonnay, good pumpkin butter, and good ginger beer if you want GREAT PUMPKIN SANGRIA!

Thoroughly chill all ingredients before serving. This will help reduce the amount of ice needed. Ice dilutes cocktails!

Invest in cocktail ice molds or reusable whiskey stones, to reduce or prevent drink dilution.

The fruit doesn’t need to be covered with bourbon. If you want a less boozy sangria, use less bourbon. Stir frequently as it macerates.

❓ FAQ

Can I refrigerate leftover sangria and serve later?

It is important to keep the sangria separate from the ginger beer, especially if you might want to drink it later.

What is the ideal amount of time to macerate the fruit?

Fruit that hangs out in spirits too long gets mushy. I suggest 1 to 3 hours. Overnight will be fine for the apples, but the pears may break down. Once the sangria (sans ginger beer) is combined, another 1-2 hours in the refrigerator is perfect!
A close up of one mason jar of the pumpkin sangria on a print napkin.

🥃 Substitutions

While I think the ingredients in this fall sangria recipe are perfect “as is,” we all have ingredients we don’t like or can’t find. Here are some ideas for substitutions:

  • fruit – Instead of apples and pears, try figs, pomegranate arils, kumquats, and persimmons. Fuyu persimmons are the softer, sweeter variety, and more suited to a sangria.
  • bourbon – While the vanilla flavor notes in the bourbon are great in this sangria, it isn’t your only option. Brandy immediately comes to mind for a fall-appropriate sangria. If you don’t want a “boozy” sangria, try a good apple cider or additional wine to macerate the fruit.
  • chardonnay – Again, the vanilla flavor notes in a buttery, oaked chardonnay inspired this sangria recipe. Substitute another wine that won’t compete with the spices and bourbon. A pinot gris would probably work.
  • ginger beer – Ginger ale will work, but the ginger may not be a noticeable component.

🧂 Useful Stuff

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

Refreezable Whiskey Stones
Pumpkin Butter
Ice Cube Molds

Autumn is a little bit of a “pipe dream” in south Texas, but one can dream! We’re enjoying this fall sangria regardless! I hope you’ll give it a try!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

2 mason jars of fall pumpkin sangria garnished with rosemary and cinnamon stick.

Fall Pumpkin Sangria with Bourbon

This Pumpkin Sangria with Bourbon features bourbon-soaked "fruit and booze" (apple and pear), a bottle of chardonnay with toasted vanilla notes, and bright, bubbly ginger beer…
4.88 from 8 votes

Click to rate!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Beverages
Cuisine American
Servings 6 to 8 servings
Calories 165 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 to 2 cups sliced or diced fruit - 1 pear and 1 apple
  • ½ to 1 cup bourbon - see Notes
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin butter
  • 1 bottle chilled buttery oaked chardonnay - (see post)
  • ginger beer to finish
  • garnishes – cinnamon sticks - rosemary, orange slices

Instructions

  • Prepare your fruit. Add the bourbon to the fruit. Press it down into the bourbon. Macerate 1 to 3 hours. Stir occasionally if it is not covered.
  • Strain the fruit from the bourbon, and set aside the fruit. Pour the bourbon into the pitcher, add the pumpkin butter, and stir to combine. Next, pour in the chardonnay. Stir. Lastly, use a spoon to add the fruit. Give it another stir. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Add ice to glasses. Fill glasses about ¾ full, top off with ginger beer. Give it all a little stir, and garnish as desired.

Notes

The fruit doesn’t need to be covered with bourbon. If you want a less boozy sangria, use less bourbon. Stir frequently as it macerates.
Macronutrients are an approximation only from MyFitnessPal.com, and will be based on your actual ingredients and quantities.

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcal

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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8 Comments

  1. You can’t go wrong with “Fruit and Booze”! Love this festive fall beverage. Might have to whip up a batch this weekend.

  2. I love pumpkin drinks, and I love sangria, so the idea of combing the two sounds wonderful! The perfect fall drink!

  3. Wow! These pumpkin drinks look delicious and tasty! Also, love the presentation makes this so enticing and tempting. Loved it!