Ancho-Hibiscus Sparkling Sangria
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection Chile Pepper, Ancho
2 cups whole dried hibiscus flowers
2 cups orange juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Triple Sec
1 bottle (750 ml) cold sparkling white wine
Fruit slices, such as lime, pear and apple
1. Mix sugar, water and ancho chile pepper in medium saucepan until well blended. Stir in hibiscus flowers. Bring to simmer on medium heat. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain into large pitcher. Refrigerate until syrup is well chilled.
2. Stir juices and liqueur into syrup. Just before serving, gently stir in sparkling wine. Pour into ice-filled cocktail glasses. Garnish with fruit slices.
Test Kitchen Tips:
- For a nonalcoholic version, prepare as directed increasing orange juice to 2 1/2 cups and omitting orange-flavored liqueur. Use 1 bottle (750 ml) sparkling white grape juice in place of the sparkling wine.
- Dried hibiscus flowers, also known as sorrel or Flor de Jamaica, are the edible flowers of the Hibiscus sabdariffa. They are popular in beverages and desserts in the Caribbean, Mexico, Africa and Asia. The dried flowers can be purchased whole, ground or in syrup in ethnic markets or online specialty stores.