When I was pregnant, I really struggled to find things to drink. Booze was obviously out for a treat. I’d substitute the occasional soda for a lesser evil. I’d down my water, but aside from that, even so many of my beloved teas had too much caffeine in them. I stumbled upon a similar drink to this one & thought it was so perfect, that it was worth tinkering with to make it drinkable for me! It’s sangria but you make with sweet tea (fitting!), fruit, and sparkling wine. I substituted Sparkling Apple Cider for mine when pregnant then revisited it with sparkling wine later and I can attest that it is delicious both ways! The sparkling cider helps bring the caffeine content down, again perfect if you are pregnant or if you have people in your family (like I do) who are adverse to caffeine, especially later in the day, you can still serve this up! This Sweet Tea Sparkling Cider Sangria has made several appearances at our celebratory dinners. I’m thinking Easter dinner next! It’s a really fun alternative drink.
If you do chose to make this in a true sangria style, I recommend choosing a sparkling wine that’s more dry than fruity since this cocktail is pretty sweet already!
This is a perfect fall drink & it has made it’s appearance on our Thanksgiving table two years in a row now so I probably should’ve shared this in the fall, BUT right now apples are still one of the few good looking fruits in the grocery stores and star anise looks pretty in a glass any time of year! I think of this as a celebratory drink (thanks to the sparkling bubbles) so I’m thinking that this would be a lovely drink to whip up to go with your Valentine’s Day dinner. May I also suggest making one of my Top Three Most Romantic Recipes on the blog:
Pasta with Mornay Sauce and Pangrattato
Herb Crusted Pork Chop with Wine Glazed Apples
Wine Glazed Steak
- 1 bottle sparkling cider or sparkling wine
- 3 Tea bags
- 3/4 Cups of Sugar
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 5 star anise
- 2 diced apples
- Boil 1 quart water.
- Place 3 tea bags in a quart heat proof measuring cup.
- Pour boiling water over tea bags.
- Add in cinnamon sticks.
- Let tea steep until the tea is so dark that you can’t see through it.
- Pour tea into a heat proof serving pitcher. Leave tea bags in the measuring cup.
- Add 3/4 cup of sugar. Stir well.
- Pour more boiling water over the original tea bags in the measuring cup. It will not get as dark this time.
- Add to pitcher.
- Stir and chill for 2 hours.
- If it is too sweet for you, add in 2 cups of water.