Hot Pepper Sangria

This Mexican chile pepper is called “Chilaca” when used fresh. In California the Poblano chile is often called Pasilla. Since most of these are bought and distributed from California this mislabeling often carries over into the supermarkets nationwide causing alot of confusion. This chile is very mild and is usually consumed in the dry form to make the famous Mexican ‘mole’ sauces.

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2 2/3 cups water
2 2/3 cups sugar
10 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole star anise
1 tsp whole pink peppercorns
1/4 tsp (generous) dried crushed red pepper (such as pasilla or habanero)
1 2/3 cups brand, divided
1 1/2 cups triple sec
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 oranges, cut into thin wedges
2 apples, halved, cored, cubed
2 pears, halved, cored, cubed
2 750-ml bottles dry red wine
1/2 cup Grand Mariner or other orange liqueur
Ice cubes
1 1/4 cups sparkling water


Bring first 7 ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cover and let cool 1 hour.

Strain syrup. Mix half of syrup, 2/3 cup brandy, triple sec, and lemon juice in large pitcher. Mix in fruit. Cover and let stand 4 hours at room temperature.

Stir wine, Grand Mariner, 1 cup brandy, and remaining syrup into fruit mixture. Fill glasses with ice. Ladle sangria mixture over. Top with sparkling water.

14 servings.

Bon Appetit, June 2006.