Fall Sangria With Spiced Simple Syrup

October 13, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

The best sangria I’ve ever had is at Rafele in New York’s Greenwich Village. I’ve deleted and rewritten that sentence three times, as I’m almost hesitant to share the truth. I don’t want to head down next Friday night only to find that the bar is packed with readers wanting a taste (but if you do see me, say hi! I need friends.) What makes their sangria so special is that it’s made with Lambrusco, Triple Sec, Aperol, and a few other ingredients I’m not privy to share. (It’s their secret, not mine). The liqueur delivers so much fruity flavor that you don’t get from raw, cut fruit alone, which inspired my approach to this drink.

I wanted to make not just a good fall sangria, but the best fall sangria recipe. That meant using good red wine (A bottle of Spanish red such as Tempranillo is great here, but if you’re feeling bubbly, use Lambrusco); more booze (pear and apple brandy work in tandem); seasonal fruit; and a spiced simple syrup. A basic simple syrup steeps with whole spices—cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom pods, and allspice—which brings all the sweater weather feels. As for the fruit, I grabbed what’s in season and would hold up for hours in a big pitcher. That meant apples and pears, of course, as well as plums and oranges. Serve it with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary—a necessary pop of green against the deep red drink. While it’s ideal for fall, I suggest serving it all winter long.
Kelly Vaughan

What You'll Need
  • Spiced Simple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 10 whole allspice
  • Sangria
  • 1 Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apple, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Anjou Pear, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 red plum, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 Navel orange, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 750 milliliters bottle Spanish red wine, such as Tempranillo
  • 1/2 cup apple brandy
  • 1/2 cup pear brandy
  • 2 cups sparkling apple cider
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, for serving
  1. Spiced Simple Syrup
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is boiling, turn off the heat. Let it cool for 10 minutes before straining through a fine mesh sieve.
  1. Sangria
  2. Add diced apple, diced pear, diced plum, and orange slices to a large pitcher.
  3. Top with red wine, both kinds of brandy, sparkling apple cider, and spiced simple syrup. Stir to combine.
  4. Chill for at least 4 hours and up to 72 hours before serving. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

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