I have a real soft spot for the small plates of the Mediterranean, so much so that my first book, From Tapas to Meze, was devoted entirely to them. This recipe was inspired by my dear friend Laurence Jossel who serves a luscious sangria that changes with the season. This one is perfect for spring. In the summer Laurence substitutes ripe eaches for the strawberries and uses fruity white wine in place of the red; and in the winter, he adds all kinds of citrus.
Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to one day. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick. Pour the sangria into glasses, being sure to include some of the strawberries. Serve with a spoon to eat the fruit.
1 bottle (750 ml) fruity red wine
1 pound fresh strawberries (about 2 pints), hulled and sliced
1 cup fresh apple juice
1/3 cup Triple Sec liqueur
1/4 cup sugar (more or less depending upon the ripeness of the berries)
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)