There’s something about a festive drink that matches the mood to get you into the spirit of whatever you happen to be celebrating. A frosty margarita just makes you want to throw on a swimsuit and hit the pool. A flute of bubbly champagne often invokes our inner Gatsby as we raise toasts in our finest cocktail-wear. A cold beer is appropriate on many occasions, but especially at a baseball game, with a piping hot, mustard-slathered hot dog in the other hand. And this fall sangria, complete with autumnal fruits and flavors, will put you into the most festive of pumpkin-pickin’ moods. So as the weather starts to cool, and stores are flooded with everything orange, mix yourself a batch of this delicious fall cocktail. You can consider it a reward for all the hard work of raking those leaves.
Sangria is traditionally a Spanish cocktail, made from mixing wine (either white or red) with fruit juices. The combinations are endless, and people have been enjoying countless versions of this delicious drink for ages. One of the fun elements of this punch is that it can be totally customized according to the season. In the summer, a sweet white wine like Riesling is delicious when combined with warm-weather fruits like pineapples, mangos, watermelon, or berries. In colder months, a zippy Pinot Noir can be mixed with winter fruits such as cranberries and clementines, spiced with cloves or ginger.
But this time of year, when leaves are changing, temperatures are only just starting to cool, and there are so many gorgeous and delicious fall fruits available, this sangria recipe is the absolute best.
When selecting fruit for your sangria, be sure to look for pieces that are ripe, but still somewhat firm in their texture. They’re going to be submerged in liquid, and shouldn’t be so overly ripe that they’re falling apart. Of course, feel free to add any other fruits that strike your fancy. Be creative!
This recipe also calls for a cinnamon simple syrup. Simple syrup is a wonderful ingredient used often in cocktails and desserts. It’s essentially just equal parts sugar and water, cooked down together until they form a sweet “syrup.” This syrup can be flavored with basically anything. In this case, it’s cinnamon. But feel free to experiment with different flavors like orange, mint, rosemary, lavender, or lemon, to name just a few. Use these syrups to moisten cakes, sweeten your coffee, dress up a fruit salad, and of course, mix into cocktails.
You can store your simple syrups in a glass jar in the fridge for about a month. When they start to get cloudy, it’s time to toss them.
In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the liquid starts to thicken. Transfer to a glass jar and add 6 cinnamon sticks. Chill for at least 4 hours.
That’s it — now you’re ready to enjoy a delicious drink by the fire, while roasting pumpkin seeds, or to serve as the signature drink at your Halloween party.
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