I recently hosted a dinner in honor of a dear girlfriend. She had told me she loved Spanish-inspired cuisine, so I prepared the menu keeping this in mind. I’ve been to Spain a few times and each time I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh seafood, vegetables in olive oil and SANGRIA. In fact, I think I enjoyed the Sangria way too much. The sweet drink can make a party because it is lively, colorful and loosens the crowd up fast (similar to the Flamenco dancers I’ve watched while drinking Sangria out of a pitcher in Barcelona).
Also, it seems that the majority of people like Sangria even if they are die hard “name your poison” drinkers.
Traditional Sangria is simple. It doesn’t have tons of fruit or carbonation. But, if you want to put the “American Spin” on it (similar to Americanized pizza) where it is loaded with toppings trimmings and bright lights, this is okay too.
The recipe below is one of Emeril’s. It was a snap to prepare and very good. I doubled the amount below for 8 people. I didn’t use the club soda or lemons and instead of Rioja I used a Burgundy. FYI, you are adding sugar to the wine so don’t waste your money on an expensive variety. People are not going to care. In fact, they may laugh at you if they learn you dumped, say, a bottle of Stag’s Leap into your concoction (I would).
2 bottles chilled dry red wine
1 cup brandy (I used Christian Brothers)
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
2 oranges, cut into thin rounds
3 Key limes, cut into thin rounds
2 apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 cups cold club soda
In a large pot or bowl, combine the wine, brandy, orange juice, and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Add the orange, lime slices, the apples and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.
Remove from the refrigerator and add the soda. Serve in wine glasses.
(Serve in a pitcher with traditional wooden spoon for portioning fruit into glasses)
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