We get hankerings for sangria on Sundays; this may or may not have anything to do with the fact that Sunday is technically Funday. Regardless after walking the hounds and baby around the park, Lindsay will remark that if I make a pitcher of sangria for the afternoon she will help me drink it. You may have a wonderful sangria recipe that you learned from a Jerry Jeff Walker song and I am sure it is great. However, next time you get the envie for something legal that also gets you so high, try this recipe from Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric's of Employees Only and their fantastic Speakeasy book.
What we really love about this particular batch is the incredibly fragrant and sultry simple syrup it requires. Your whole house will fill with the smells of root beer or pho if you are of a Vietnamese bend. We generally do not let it sit overnight as we can never wait that long. Often we serve the saturated fruit on the side instead of in the glass. I find trying to navigate around a chunk of apple and slice of orange often leads to me spilling wine all over myself. You can use a garden variety Syrah from California, which you can pick up for a steal anywhere that sells wine. I try to drink only good rioja so I wouldn't use it in a sangria. This recipe doesn't use brandy which helps keep it light enough to consider making two batches.
Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.
Spiced Sangria Roja
credit Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 each whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise
1 vanilla pod, split down the middle
3 thin slices of ginger
Combine the above and bring to a boil. Now simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes or so. Strain into a large pitcher.
1 bottle red wine
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/8 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 orange, cut into quarter-wheels
1 lemon, cut into wheels
1 cup seeded and cubed melon (often I use apples)
1 cup red grapes, halved
Add the above to the syrup mixture and stir. Pop in the fridge for as long as you can wait. Serve over ice in a large glass.