Holiday Sangria

Sangria makes the holidays even more festive, and there are so many fun ways to serve it to your guests.  I think this recipe came from my friend, Karen Hanson.  

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
½ vanilla bean
2 whole star anise
½ teaspoon whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 (7-ounce) packages mixed dried fruit
2 (750 ml) bottles red wine
Ginger ale, to taste

Spiced Syrup
In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and the water to a boil; stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat, drop in the vanilla bean, star anise, cloves and cinnamon sticks; cover and leave to infuse and cool.  When cool, pour the syrup and the spices into a jar, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.  Spiced syrup will keep for a week.

Sangria
The night before you want to serve your sangria, put the dried fruit into a large pitcher and pour over the wine.  Cover the pitcher with plastic wrap and refrigerate. 
Up to four hours before serving the sangria, strain the spices from the syrup and stir the spiced syrup into the pitcher of fruit and wine. 

Serve sangria over lots of ice in tall glasses, topped with ginger ale.  I’d say about 2/3 sangria mixture to 1/3 ginger ale.  You can add ginger ale to the pitcher, but if it is not large enough, mix the drinks in glasses as you serve.  Drop a few pieces of the dried fruit in each glass to garnish.

Easily serves 10-12

 Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli 

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