Post # 14 Sangria

July 2, 2012 at 6:01 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 14 Sangria

Many years ago, I attended a family gathering during summertime.  I don’t remember if it was Memorial Day, Independence Day, or Labor Day, but I do remember that it was hot.  So I volunteered to make a huge batch of sangria.  Now, I grew up in Arizona on the Mexican border, and I knew what sangria was.  I assumed everyone else knew that, too.

Sangria was named for the blood red color it gets from its ingredients.  I can also be made with different ingredients giving it a white look and is called sangria blanca.  I’ve also seen versions of sangria made without what I consider the standard ingredients, but with other kinds of fresh fruits and called various names.  At its core, sangria is basically a wine punch to which fruit is added, a sweetener, and then chilled for several hours before serving.  Just prior to serving, the alcohol is freshened by adding more potent spirits, and bubbles are added with the inclusion of some kind of seltzer.  Easy peasy.  It can be served either in a punch bowl or a pitcher.

So I made a gallon of the stuff and started the night before so the fruit flavors would blend.  The recipe I used is in the recipe list to the right.  I put serveral orange and lemon slices into a gallon jar, added sugar, orange and lemon zest and juices, and three bottles of red wine.  I left it in the fridge overnight then around mid afternoon, took it to the gathering.  I added another bottle of wine and a small bottle of brandy.  Then I topped the gallon jar up with ginger ale and stirred gently.  After all the flavors had blended, I poured a two quart pitcher and set on the table for anyone to enjoy.

“Sangria, everyone!” I hollered then went to help out in the kitchen.  Joking and joshing with everyone there, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to what was going on with the sangria.  Shortly someone brought the empty pitcher and I refilled it.  I had received many compliments on it and I was glad it was a hit.

My sister in law said, “It tastes alcoholic.  Is it alcoholic?”

“Well, yeah.” I replied, puzzled.  “It’s sangria.  It’s made with wine and brandy.”

“It’s wonderful!” she said.

Quite some time later my father in law came over to me.  “That is without a doubt the best punch I ever had! This is my third glass.”

I turned to my wife, a little concerned because those glasses were tall.  “Does he know there’s alchohol in that?”

“I don’t know.” she said.  “We better tell him.”

Turns out that no one knew there was alcohol in sangria.  I made it again for other gatherings, but I definitely made it weaker.  Everyone still talks about that first sangria, remembering it fondly.

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