This recipe is unique for sangria since it has a minimal amount of fruit juice added to the wine. However, the cinnamon-scented syrup, plus the limes and nutmeg, highlight the versatility of wine and the resulting beverage is very refreshing.
On Tu Bishvat, it is customary to eat foods containing the seven species and to bless them. These are grapes and wine, wheat, barley, figs, pomegranates, dates, and olives. Although not mentioned in Deuteronomy, almonds also figure prominently in this celebration, as they are the first tree to flower in Israel at that time of year.
- Combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over moderately high heat for 5 minutes or until the bubbles get larger and slower. Remove from the heat and cool until room temperature.
- Remove the zest from two of the limes in long thin strips. Cut away all of the white pith and peel, and discard.
- In a large pitcher, combine the sugar mixture, wine, two peeled whole limes, zest, and nutmeg. Let it steep, covered, for a number of hours or overnight.
- To serve, remove the limes, and add 1 cup hot water and the juice from one of the limes. Taste and add more lime juice if necessary (this will depend on the fruitiness of the wine you use).
- Serve in 4- to 6-ounce glasses.
- If you prefer a more Spanish variation, oranges may be used instead of the limes.
- Boiling sugar and water puts the sugar into solution, and it will stay that way, refrigerated, for months. This is called a simple syrup.
- Simple syrups are used in liquid recipes because they distribute throughout the beverage and do not make the drink grainy.