The traditional drink of New Year’s Eve is, of course, champagne. Maybe with some raspberries in the bottom of the glass if you're feeling fancy. While there's nothing shabby about champagne, why not ring in the new year with something complex, robust, and unexpected?
Flavored with mulling spices, this Spiced Sangria has a determined holiday flavor. Pomegranates and orange slices add a tart fruity essence while the ginger beer highlights the poignant spices. Flavorful and sophisticated, this drink is the perfect addition at any wintertime function, especially New Year’s. And maybe you'll still have room for a little champagne too. ;) Cheers!
Holiday Spiced Sangria
1 cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons mulling spices*
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 bottle dry red wine, such as Zinfandel
½ cup brandy
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 cup pomegranate seeds, approximately 1 pomegranate
Cinnamon stick, optional
12 oz bottle ginger beer, cold
*Mulling spice is a combination of dried orange peel, ground cinnamon, whole cloves, and whole allspice. It is sold seasonally in most specialty markets, including Trader Joe's. If you cannot find it in the store, use: 2 teaspoons dried (or fresh) orange peel, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, 1 teaspoon whole allspice and 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder.
In a small saucepan, combine pomegranate juice, mulling spices and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a large pitcher, combine wine, brandy, orange slices, pomegranate seeds and cinnamon stick. Strain spiced pomegranate juice and pour into pitcher. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Before serving, add ginger beer and stir to combine. Serve over ice.
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