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Spice-Infused Sangria

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.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: makes about 2 quarts

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  • 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
  • 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


  1. MAKE THE SANGRIA 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.
  2. 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.

Contributed By Published November 2005

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