Spice-Infused Sangria

January 27, 2008

I made this for my birthday and I must admit, it was a hit.  Now, I didn’t have all the fancy ingredients (i.e., star anise pods), but if you can get your hands on all of it – I’m sure it would be just amazing.  (I randomly threw in 2 broken up vanilla beans b/c I had them.)

Spice-Infused Sangria
(source of recipe)

Julie Taras and Tasha Garcia make sangria at Manhattan’s Little Giant year round as a tasty way to use up opened bottles of wine. In the fall and winter, they flavor dry red wine using a sugar syrup infused with warm spices like cinnamon, cloves and ginger before adding pieces of apple, pear or citrus. This recipe makes more sugar syrup than the sangria calls for; use it to sweeten hot or iced tea as well as sparkling water.

Ingredients

SUGAR SYRUP
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 star anise pods
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1-inch slice of fresh ginger

SANGRIA
One 750-ml bottle dry red wine, such as Grenache, Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup light rum
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
1 1/2 cups club soda
2 navel oranges—peeled, halved, seeded and cut into large dice
1 lime—peeled, halved, seeded and cut into large dice
1 Granny Smith apple—halved, cored and cut into large dice
1 Bartlett pear—halved, cored and cut into large dice
Ice cubes

Directions

MAKE THE SUGAR SYRUP: In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, star anise, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil until reduced by one third and slightly syrupy, about 15 minutes. Let the spice syrup cool, then strain into a glass jar.

MAKE THE SANGRIA: Pour the red wine into a 3-quart pitcher. Stir in the orange juice, rum, brandy, Cointreau, club soda and 1/4 cup of the spice syrup; add more syrup if you prefer a sweeter sangria. Add the diced oranges, lime, apple and pear and refrigerate overnight. Serve the sangria in tall glasses over ice. Garnish with a tablespoon of the diced fruit.

MAKE AHEAD The sangria can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. The spice syrup can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

MAKES ABOUT 2 QUARTS

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