Sangria can be refreshing on hot summer days
Summer living is easy on the Texas Coast. But the heat can be parching. There’s nothing better than homemade Sangria to refresh you and your friends. Although you could buy ready-made sangria from your local liquor and wine store, you also could make your own perfect version.
Because of the variation in recipes, sangria’s alcoholic content can vary greatly. The ingredients in sangria also vary, in the type of fruit used, the kind of spirits — if any — added and the presence or absence of carbonation.
White wine, typically sauvignon blanc, can be used instead of red, in which case the result is called sangria blanca or sangria tinto. In some parts of Northern Spain, sangria is called zurra and is made with peaches or nectarines.
In most recipes, wine is the dominant ingredient and acts as a base. In some regions of Portugal, cinnamon also is added with the sweetener.
Preparation consists of cutting the fruit in thin slices or small cubes, then mixing in advance all ingredients except for ice and carbonated sodas. After several hours, or a full day in a refrigerator to allow time for the fruit flavors to blend with the rest of the ingredients, the ice and any last-minute ingredients are added and the drinks are poured.
Sangria is served throughout Spain and Portugal during the summer and in the southern and eastern parts of the countries year-round. Sangaree is a similar drink associated with the West Indies and the name is an archaic English name for sangria.
Resist the temptation to buy the cheapest red wine you can find. If you wouldn’t drink the wine by itself, don’t put it in the sangria. It will taste better and you won’t have a hangover the next day.
The Cork Guy
The Cork Guy is a local connoisseur of all things wine whose taste buds are especially adept at unraveling the mysteries of the vino world. We hope you will enjoy his visits to Coast Monthly. You can reach the Cork Guy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a very good basic sangria recipe courtesy of spanishfoods.about.com.
2 750-milliliter bottles of red wine — any type
2 12-ounce cans 7 Up or any lemon-lime soft drink
2 ounces of triple sec
½ cup brandy
½ cup sugar (more if you like a sweeter drink)
1 orange, sliced
2 lemons, Sliced
Slice the orange and lemons about 1/8 of an inch thick. Place in a large punch bowl or the largest mixing bowl you have. Add ½ cup of sugar and wine. Mix thoroughly to dissolve the sugar.
Add triple sec and brandy and stir. (If you’re making this before time, don’t add the soft drink until your guests are about to arrive.) Add the 2 cans of soft drink and stir. Taste for sweetness. If needed, add more sugar. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
If you’re serving from a bowl, add a block of ice to the bowl to chill completely. If you’re serving in pitchers, put a lot of the ice in the pitchers and then pour the sangria over the ice.
This recipe makes 6-8 servings.