In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring 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 spiced syrup into a glass container, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use. Spiced syrup will keep for a week.
Make the Sangria
The night before you want to serve your sangria, put the dried fruit into a large pitcher and pour in the red wine. Cover the pitcher with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8-12 hours.
Just before serving, use a fine mesh strainger to strain the spices from the syrup, then stir the spiced syrup into the pitcher of fruit and wine.
Serve the sangria over ice, if desired, topped with the desired amount of ginger ale. We prefer out sangria cocktails as 2/3 sangria and 1/3 ginger ale, but that's just personal preference - adjust as desired. You can add the ginger ale directly to the pitcher of sangria, but if it is not large enough, add the ginger ale to the sangria as you serve each one. Drop a few pieces of the dried fruit in each glass to garnish.
Sangria is super easy to make from scratch, just as you can see from this recipe. It requires few ingredients and can be dressed up or down.Sangria is a punch, traditionally made of red wine and fresh or dried fruit, often with other added spirits.Use a red wine that you enjoy drinking on it’s own when you make sangria. Sangria is as sweet or as dry as you make it. Since it’s a fruity punch, it’s usually best to use a more dry red wine since you can always add a bit more sugar to the sangria or use a lemon-lime soda to add some sweetness.Sangria should be served chilled on the rocks. It’s also fun to put spiced sugar (I use a mixture of sugar and cinnamon) on the rim of each glass!To keep sangria from getting diluted from melting ice cubes, freeze small fruits or berries and use them as ice cubes.Fruit soaked in spirits is delicious and it’s perfectly acceptable to eat the fruit at the bottom of your glass.So the fruit can properly infuse it’s flavor into the wine, it’s needs to rest overnight, if possible. And, yes, sangria gets better and better as it sits.I prefer to serve sangria in wine glasses or hurricane glasses that have a wide mouth. Also, be sure to use a pretty glass pitcher for showing off your sangria.
Keyword: holiday sangria, sangria for a crowd, sangria red wine