Sangria Fruit Salad
cup Merlot or other full-bodied, plummy red wine
¼ cup cognac or brandy
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 orange, scrubbed
12 whole cloves (see Tip)
½ lemon, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
1 peach, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 pear, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 apple, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup dark seedless grapes, halved
Thin orange and lemon slices and sprigs of fresh mint for garnish
Combine the wine, cognac, orange juice, and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Peel the orange; cut the peel into 1 inch strips and stud them with the cloves. Cut the orange flesh into 1 inch cubes. Add the peel and cubes to the wine mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the garnish. Cover and let the mixture stand at room temperature for about 2 hours.
Remove and discard the lemon chunks and clove-studded orange peel; refrigerate the fruit-wine mixture.
Serve the chilled fruit in long-stemmed wine glasses. Spoon some of the wine mixture over each serving, adorn the edges of the glasses with orange or lemon slices, and garnish with mint sprigs.