Sangria! Treat yourself this weekend!

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Ingredients

For the spiced simple syrup:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • sliced orange peel (orange part only)
  • 1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns

For the sangria

  • 1 750ml bottle red wine (Merlot or Cabernet)
  • 1/3 cup simple syrup
  • juice from 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup rum or brandy
  • 1/4 cup orange flavored liquor (triple sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier)
  • sliced oranges, chopped apples (red and green), chopped pears
  • frozen blackberries for serving

Instructions
In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, ginger, cloves and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer while stirring and dissolving sugar. Boil until reduced a bit and slightly syrupy, about 15 minutes. Let simple syrup cool, strain and store in a glass jar in refrigerator. (You can use syrup for sangria or to sweeten tea, or sparkling water.)
To make sangria: In a large pitcher combine all ingredients. Let refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best flavor.

Notes
Tip: Great to bring to any holiday party! Save your empty wine bottles and corks (or purchase cute corks) to use as a container for transporting the sangria. Chop the fruit small enough to fit into the bottles and use a funnel to pour sangria into wine bottle. Makes a great hostess gift!

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