SIMPLE SYRUP (WITH A TWIST)
. 1 cups water
. 1 cup sugar
. 4 star anise pods
. 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
. 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
. Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
. 1-inch slice of fresh ginger
1 cup Seasons Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
. One 750-ml bottle dry red wine, such as Grenache, Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon
. 1 cup fresh apple cider
. 1/2 cup dark rum
. 1/4 cup brandy
. 1/4 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
. 1 1/2 cups club soda
. 2 navel oranges—sliced
. 1 lime—sliced
. 1 Granny Smith apple—halved, cored and cut into large dice
. 1 Bartlett pear—halved, cored and cut into large dice
. Ice cubes
MAKE THE SUGAR SYRUP In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, star anise, peppercorns, Seasons Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar, cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil until reduced by one third and slightly syrupy, about 15 minutes. Let the spice syrup cool, then strain into a glass jar.
MAKE THE SANGRIA Pour the red wine into a 3-quart pitcher. Stir in the apple cider, rum, brandy, Cointreau, club soda and 1/4 cup of the spice syrup; add more syrup if you prefer a sweeter sangria. Add the sliced oranges, lime, apple and pear and refrigerate overnight. Serve the sangria in tall glasses over ice. Garnish with a tablespoon of the diced fruit.
TIP: MAKE AHEAD The sangria can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. The spice syrup can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.