Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sangria Anyone?

Recently, a friend of ours posted his sangria recipe on Facebook and I'll confess, I was immediately intrigued.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should probably offer two points of information

1. I am not a sangria drinker -- have maybe had it once or twice in my life..... if at all -- so I honestly have no frame of reference whatsoever.

2. This friend is, like myself, insanely competitive. He would never post a recipe as his own unless it was tried & true and in his opinion.... damn near perfect. This is a "go big or go home" kind of guy, he plays to win.

I think it was the latter point that put me on a mission..... a mission to try this baby out.

The recipe:
1 Bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja, Zinfandel, Shiraz)
1 Lemon cut into wedges
1 Orange cut into wedges
1 Lime cut into wedges
2 Tbsp sugar (use more sugar if using a Cab or Shiraz)
Splash of orange juice or lemonade
2 Shots of gin
1 Cup of raspberries or strawberries (may use thawed or frozen)
1 Small can of diced pineapples (with juice)
4 Cups ginger ale
Chill overnight

So, last Friday I went and grabbed all the necessaries and set about assembling a big ole pitcher of Sangria. I went with a bottle of Little Penguin Merlot we already had on the wine rack (not bottom of the barrel, but good enough to drink -- should work okay, right?) I used orange juice (not lemonade) and raspberries (not strawberries).

We ended up having a few beers that evening, so the sangria would have to wait.... and wait, and wait some more. On Thursday night we put the kids to bed and poured a couple of glasses. The Big Dubya thought it was good -- but there was some underlying flavor that was distracting him -- he just couldn't put his finger on what it was. I asked -- is it the lime? maybe.... the lemon? maybe..... the gin -- yeah, that's it!

I found my glass a bit too strong for me -- I added some more ginger ale to see if that helped -- but it was still just really strong, I was tired and not in the mood to experiment. We kind of walked away a little unsure of whether or not we liked it..... but, neither of us was ready to discount it either.

On Saturday night we had a small dinner party and, as is par for the course at casa Dubya, the cocktails were flowing. I pulled out the pitcher of sangria and everybody tried some. We got some mixed reviews.... one fellow came looking for another glass saying that he couldn't say that he loved it -- but did find it oddly compelling. Another fellow coined the term gin-gria, noting that the gin was most certainly a detectable undertone.

In fairness, the above recipe is a little loosey-goosey so it's entirely possible that I screwed it up. The size of the fruits, the definition of a splash.... all subject to interpretation.

Bottom line, this is a good solid base-recipe that I'll probably tweak a bit to make it more my own.... but I'm interested to hear -- anybody got a good sangria recipe they'd like to share?


Sue said...

Ok you've forced me to look for our recipe...This is the sangria recipe from Cafe Espanol on Bleecker St in NYC.

Peel 1 apple and thinly slice. Peel 1 orange and thinly slice. Place the fruit in a large bowl or 64 ounce pitcher. Add 3 tablespoons sugar, 6 ounces club soda, 5 ounces brandy, 4 ounces triple sec and 4 cups of ice. Mix well.

Then add 2 bottles of CA Burgundy wine. Garnish with mint leaves. Allegedly serves 12.

Mrs Big Dubya said...

Okay, we are going to have to reconvene the group from Saturday night and have another tasting!