Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sangria for People Who Don't LIke Sangria

A friend of mine just called to thank me for the wonderful time she had at our midwinter gathering Saturday night. While she was at it, she asked me what brand of Sangria I served, because ordinarily she hates the stuff, but whatever it was that I was serving was wonderful and she wanted to pick some up to keep on hand. A lot of people who were here Saturday night echoed her sentiments, to the tune of a rousing chorus of "We hate Sangria, but we love this!" They drank all of it and I think I saw some of them sucking on the marbles from the serving jar late into the evening...

The problem is that most people associate Sangria with that stuff you get at the grocery store for $2.99. Blech. Please don't waste your time or your precious tastebuds with that swill. Take five minutes to do something lovely and make something drinkable. It really is simple. Just dump a bunch of stuff in a bowl and go. There are eleventy jillion recipes out there for Sangria. Here's mine and although it does vary somewhat depending on what I have around, it is consistently good.

Doc's Sangria for People Who Don't Like Sangria

2 bottles of good, dry red wine (preferably of Spanish origin)
2 bottles of sparkling white wine (Asti Spumanti is a good choice)
1 cup sugar
1 cup or so of rum, brandy, cognac or vodka, depending on what you have around
12 oz orange juice
12 oz pineapple juice
12 oz peach nectar
1 whole orange, sliced thin
other thinly sliced fruit - pineapple, lemon, lime, peaches are all good choices but use what you have - probably not bananas though - the fruit sucks up some of the alcohol and makes for a tasty snack.

Dissolve the sugar in the red wine

Combine everything but the sparkling wine & if you have time, let sit &/or chill for a few hours - if not, nobody will die if you don't.

Put everything in your serving bowl & add the sparkling wine. Serve over ice. To keep it chilled without diluting, put some of the original mixture in ice cube trays or a pretty ring mold and freeze, then float it on top of the final product in your punch bowl.

I like to use my infusion jar for serving this sweet elixir of life. The presentation is just lovely with the big-ass glass jar, the marbles in the bottom and the little brass spigot. If you get one, don't forget to buy the stand so that you can get cups under the spigot without having to leave the jar perched precariously on the edge of the table and don't forget the marbles, which keep the fruit from clogging up the spigot, which doesn't sound important until you have to go fishing a big chunk of peach out of there. You can also freeze the marbles to help keep your deliciousness cold.

This recipe easily divides in half or can be multiplied. Have fun and please drink responsibly - this stuff can sneak up on you!


Brunhilda said...

**shakes head** Is there nothing you can't make? Sounds tasty. I dig Sangria. Specially with a hung over day brunch. lol

Dr. Shedevil said...

Yes. There are things I can't make. I can't knit or crochet because I'm left handed and there was no one around to show me how, and I refused to learn to sew because I didn't want to be stuck making prom dresses for everyone. I started cooking when I was 8 years old and have never met a recipe I couldn't improve. By the time I was 12, I was doing all the cooking for my family. When I went back to college in 1997, I took a career interest inventory that listed chef as my top career choice based on my interests. Gardener came in second. Well, I don't want to work nights or be on my feet all the time and those are kind of requirements in chefdom. Also, it takes a long time to work up to the level of making serious money in chefdom, so I just save my culinary talents for my family and my honored guests, who wait with bated breath for the next invitation. Besides, as much as I love to cook, I'd hate for it to become a "job." I can make serious money basically part time with a private neuropsychology practice, thereby giving me more time in the kitchen.