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Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Sangria




Simple Syrup with a Twist
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 star anise pods
½ tsp black peppercorns
½ tsp whole cloves
Two 3- inch cinnamon sticks
1-inch slice of fresh ginger
1 cup Epicurean Blackberry Aged Balsamic Vinegar

One 750 ml bottle dry red wine
1 cup fresh apple cider
½ cup dark rum
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
1 ½ cups club soda
2 navel oranges – sliced
1 lime – sliced
1 Granny Smith apple – cubed
1 Bartlett pear – cubed


Making the syrup:
In a small saucepan, combine all of the Simple Syrup ingredients. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil until reduced by 1/3 and slightly syrupy, about 15 minutes. Let the syrup cool and then drain into a glass jar.

Making the Sangria:
Pour the red wine into a 3-quart pitcher. Stir in all the other liquids, but only ¼ of the Simple Syrup (add more syrup for sweeter sangria). Add the fruits and refrigerate overnight. Serve in tall glasses over ice. Garnish with a tablespoon of the fruit.

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