in the kitchen with: lisa cericola

today’s “in the kitchen with” is a special drink recipe duo from dinner party blogger lisa cericola. lisa runs a great blog (in addition to writing for bizbash) about entertaining at home and creating menus for dinner parties. i was thrilled when she offered to share two drink recipes with us for the holiday season: fall sangria and “the big apple”. so if you’re looking to spice up your holiday parties click here for lisa’s full recipes (or just click “read more” below). thanks to lisa for sharing!

[image of lisa by tony schreiber]

Drink #1: Fall Sangria

Sangria is usually thought of as a summer drink, but I added autumnal notes with seasonal fruit and Calvados, apple brandy. This is a strong drink, but you can cut it by adding ice cubes, a splash of club soda, or sparkling apple cider.
(Serves about 4-6 people)

1 apple, sliced into thin ½-inch long pieces
½ cup pomegranate seeds (*see note below on how to release them without a mess)
1 pear, sliced into thin 1/2-inch long pieces
¼ cup Calvados (I used Christian Drouin)
1 chilled bottle inexpensive white wine (I used Terra Andina Savignon Blanc, a dry Chilean white)
Optional: Club soda or sparkling apple cider

Place your sliced fruit in a small bowl and pour the Calvados over it. Give the fruit a stir, to make sure it’s evenly covered. Set aside in the refrigerator and let the fruit marinate for 15 to 30 minutes. When done, pour your wine into a large pitcher, then add in the Calvados-soaked fruit and any liquor left in the bowl. Stir until combined. Pour into glasses, topping each one off with club soda or sparkling apple cider, and adding ice if you’d like.

*To easily remove the seeds from a pomegranate without staining your clothes, cut the fruit into quarters, then submerge it in a bowl of room-temperature water. While keeping the fruit under water, use your fingers to pry the seeds loose. The seeds will burst in the water, not all over your shirt.

Drink #2: The Big Apple

This cocktail combines sliced apples, sparkling wine, Calvados, and sparkling apple cider. Fizzy and slightly sweet, it’s a delicious way to kick of a fall dinner party or Thanksgiving dinner.
(Serves about 6 people)

1 bottle sparkling wine (I used Barefoot Sparkling Chardonnay, which has notes of apple and pear)
6 Tbsp. Calvados (I used Christian Drouin) [link:]
1 apple, sliced into thin ½-inch long pieces
1 small bottle sparkling apple cider (I used Martinelli’s)

Using a spoon, place the apple slices into six Champagne or wine glasses; aim for an equal amount of apples in each glass. Pour 1 Tbsp. Calvados into each glass. Add the sparkling wine, pouring slowly, then refilling so each glass is about halfway full. Top off each glass with a splash of sparkling cider. Use a small spoon to stir each drink. Serve immediately, while the wine is still bubbly.

Kim Wike

The big apple sounds great. I’m wondering if there is any reason why you cannot mix all the wet ingredients together first and then pour into apple filled glasses. Is there a difference?


Ooh! Yum. I’ve been taste testing heirloom apples at the farmer’s market and these recipes both sound like a delightful way to highlight unusual apples.


Hi all!

Thanks for your feedback and for checking out my site!

Kim Wike: You could definitely combine the apples and Calvados together (let them soak a bit so the apples absorb the alcohol) and then pour that mixture into each glass. But I think it’s best to add the sparkling wine straight from the bottle into each glass. so it’s extra cold and fizzy. Enjoy, Lisa


Oh this seems just so lovely – is there anyway to spice it a little do you think? I’m such a fan of autumnally spices and apple.. *smile*

Patricia Shea

These drinks recipes look delicious! Thanks so much for adding a recipe section to your great blog, I have always felt that food and design are inextricably linked and people who like good design usually are interested in good food too….YEA!