I have been making variations of sangria for years. Being from California, (which I often refer to as Mexico - because it is!) and having a great love for Mexican food it always seems very much the choice drink for many celebrations in my life. I have had many versions of sangria and this is what seems to be my favorite after working on it for years. I spike the sangria with brandy, so I really don't mind using cheap wine. You know the kind that comes in a jug with a screw cap?
For each jug of wine macerate fruits and spices as follows: 1 each: lemon, lime, orange, pink grapefruit, 1 stick of cinnamon, 1 star anise, and 1 bunch of fresh French lavender tied in a piece of cheese cloth. In the largest container that will fit in you refrigerator mix all of the previous ingredients. The solid items will be *discarded for the final presentation. Let the mixture do its thing over night in the refrigerator. Just before serving remove solids and add 1 cup of Brandy and 1 cup of cherry or pomegranate juice for each jug of wine. Serve in a large punchbowl filled with ice made from *purified water. Add new fresh slices of lemons, limes and oranges. Add 1 pint of blueberries, small hulled strawberries, sliced peaches and plums. Add one cup each of red and green grapes.
*Notes*: Discard wine soaked fruits because they will look unappealing, [add fresh]. Use ice made from purified water because ice made from tap water will impart a chlorinated flavor to the sangria. Add lavander blossoms to ice cube trays before adding purified water for an interesting garnish. Make kabobs of fresh fruit to use as a garnish.