Thursday, July 5, 2007

Summertime means Sangria!

Summertime growing up meant family entertaining at our house. My dad, a former professional cook, often worked on the main entré while mom was sous chef / organizer / hostess with the mostess. Meals were often good all American BBQ or Mexican favorites to reflect their own childhood memories. Drink of choice was almost always Sangria. And even though as a child I never dared drink alcohol, I did envy this one ritual. It just seemed so exotic to me and all the adults seemed to enjoy it so.

Sangria is a fruity alcoholic Spanish punch often served at gatherings paired with
antejitos (apetizers) also known as tapas. Funny, now looking back, I'm just a little amused at how much the Sangria of my childhood differs from what I have come to love from my exploration of tapas bars. First a crystal cut wine glass would be filled with ice, then bottled Carlos Rossi Sangria was added to the halfway mark and then it was topped off with 7-Up. That's it. For years, the adult me loved this and thought it was quite tasty.

And then I discovered
Spanish sangria.

For years I have hosted a White Elephant gift exchange and every event, the cuisine is themed. About 8 years ago, I choose a Spanish tapas theme and went out in search of a good Sangria recipe to serve at home. I've tried several over the years and have basically taken the best of them and modified them to my own liking.

Nothing beats a chilled glass of Sangria on a hot summer afternoon. I like to keep a pitcher in the fridge with the concentrate ready to go.



Ah! Summertime. Don't you just love it?

AFOTOGIRL'S SANGRIA
1 bottle Spanish red wine (I prefer Marques de Caceres Rioja as it has an excellent ripe fruity flavor to begin with or Torres Sangre de Toro)
1 1/2
cps brandy
3/4 cp fine baker's (caster) sugar
1 apple, thinly sliced
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
1/2 cp hulled and sliced strawberries
1/2 cp raspberries
citrus flavored soda such as Sprite or 7-Up
extra fruit of choice for garnish


Layer all but the reserved fruit for garnish into a gallon glass margarita pitcher. Pour in the wine, brandy and sugar. Stir well. Let marinate for at least 48 hours (I often prepare my sangria 3 days before my gathering). When ready to serve, fill glass with ice, then half full with the Sangria concentrate, top off with soda and garnish with freshly sliced fruit.

Concentrate keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week. Longer if fruit is removed and fresh fruit added before serving.

YOUR TURN:
When it comes to summertime entertaining, what's your beverage of choice?


NOTE: photo from bigstock.com

3 comments:

  1. http://urbanvegan.blogspot.com/2007/07/sangria-sangria-sangria.html

    photogirl, if/when you have a minute or two, will you check out this recipe and let me know what you think of it?

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  2. Hey Kleo...I like peaches best in white sangria which is a nice choice with lighter meals, chicken or in your case, vegetarian meals... red rioja, in my opinion, overpowers the subtle peach flavor. try this recipe with a Spanish rosada or white rioja (both both basically rosés -- good choices at Trader Joe's and BevMo)...and maybe add a shot or two of white rum. I've made a similar version this way...

    :)

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  3. Thanks! :o) Sounds delish.

    ReplyDelete