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Jamaica (Hibiscus) Sangria

February 8, 2012

I love hosting dinner parties and fiestas. My husband calls it an addiction. I think he is right — I love coming up with a creative menu and a signature drink but most importantly I love having friends and family over. The funny part is that every time I host an event it rains or snows. And our recent Candlemas dinner was no exception. We had our first blizzard of 2012 in Colorado. We had over two feet of snow! My cousin and her family who live only one-mile away almost didn’t make the trip. They had to strap on some chains to the tires of their big Ford F-350 to make the trek. Thankfully they made it safely with delicious cilantro lime rice in hand.

We’ll post more photos about my dinner menu in Colorado and my sister’s dinner menu in Germany later, but for now I wanted to share the signature drink recipe of the night in Colorado.

We had quite the feast Friday night. I was cooking, decorating, and cleaning all day, so I really wanted a drink that was simple and self-serve. I decided to make sangria. I love sangria and you might remember our red Rioja sangria I make often. This jamaica sangria is quite different. It’s made with dry white wine instead of a fruity Spanish red wine. The spicy undertones of cinnamon and jamaica made this the perfect drink for a chilly Colorado evening and everyone truly loved it. It is a recipe I definitely plan to make again. It was ideal for our cozy intimate dinner party of eight.

After everyone left and hubby and I were cleaning up, it dawned on me that this luscious red jamaica sangria would be a perfect drink for lovers of all ages (above 21). I can see Bill and I having a glass or two after the kiddos have gone to bed paired with an appetizer like bruschetta, brie, or all by itself, on Valentine’s Day. On this occasion the fruit might be the dessert. So for this year on that special day when you want to serve something different and unique why not try this simple and elegant sangria.

What is your favorite drink on Valentine’s Day?

Jamaica (Hibiscus) Sangria

16-20 servings

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, Mexican Magazine

4 cups water

2 cinnamon sticks

12 whole cloves

2 anise stars

1 ½ cups dried hibiscus flowers

2 750-mililiter bottles of dry white wine (recommend Pinot)

3 cups ginger ale, chilled

1 orange, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

2 medium red Bartlett pears, halved, cored, and cubed

1 ½ cups seedless grapes

Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Directions

In a saucepan, combine the water, the cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and anise stars; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add hibiscus flowers. Let mixture cool about 15 minutes or until almost room temperature. Strain into a large pitcher and refrigerate.

Just before your guests arrive, fill a punch bowl with the jamaica tea, white wine, and ginger ale. Add fruit and stir gently. If desired, garnish glasses with ice, additional lemon slices, and mint. Serve immediately.

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22 Comments
  1. What a great Sangria recipe! And it looks like you made the most of your celebration despite the blizzard. I have friends in Colorado…been hearing about the blizzard, so thanks for sharing the pictures. I am convinced I wouldn’t survive! :-) Debra

    • I was amazed that most of our guest made the trek. It was quite the blizzard! The snow is beautiful, but I have to admit I’m ready for the Spring and warmer weather.

  2. This sounds like the perfect way to spend a snowy evening. I make a simpler version of Jamaica Sangria (http://www.girlichef.com/2010/07/yesyou-can-add-alcohol.html), but I really love the sound of yours. I’m going to spruce mine up to meet yours next time I make it…really sounds amazing. Can’t wait to see that rice, it sounds so good!

    • Thanks for sharing your recipe Heather. I love Jamaica anything really ;) I think a Jamaica Margarita might be in my future ;)

  3. Looks beautiful! And sounds amazing! I love how sangria made with Jamaica tastes, so I just know this is absolutely delicious. I could go for a cup of this right now and it’s not even 9am! :)

  4. Love this post! Thank you for sharing!!

  5. que rico! I want to make this this weekend!

    • Would love to hear back from you Lisa — Let me know how you like the recipe. I think I’ll be making it again this weekend too.

  6. I never thought of using jamaica in a sangria. What a great idea and fabulous recipe! Thank you for sharing

  7. Rachel Candelaria permalink

    I had the non Alcholic version over xmas.. this sounds even better. Looking forward to trying it.

    • Its a simple tea to make Rach and with the addition of wine you can’t go wrong. Wish we lived closer to enjoy it together. I need to make a trip to San Diego soon — I miss you!

  8. I love Sangria! And I love how you used seasonal fruit in this recipe. I live in CT so we have the same kind of weather but a little less snow. This would be a perfect company with a snuggle on the couch or a back massage.

  9. Pinot is a great wine for Sangria – not too tannic with elegant fruit aromas. I never thought to make Sangria with jamaica! Thank you for the great idea. ¡Salud!

    • Thanks Pamela for stopping by. You obviously know quite a bit about vino! Wish you could be my tour guide at a winery. I have a feeling we would have lots of fun together!

  10. love this Sangria fro Vday!! How perfectly sweet for a evening in with the hubby. Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to see your next post. Abrazos!!

  11. My goodness! Guess I shouldn’t complain about the weather in California! Please keep warm and the Sangria looks amazing! Haven’t had one in years! So I may have to take a fight your way and have a taste! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Brenda permalink

    It wouldn’t be a party at your house without the crazy weather! And Augi loves driving the truck through 2 feet of snow so we wouldn’t have missed it…he really is a kid at heart when it comes to that sort of thing! :)

    Thanks again for having us over for an amazing dinner! I’ll *definitely* be making the cilantro lime rice again. Not only was it easy, it was delicious! And Augi — who’s not a big fan of cilantro lime rice — told me that he really liked it so I can’t wait to make it again.

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