Sunday, July 10, 2011

Best Party Sangria

Believe it or not Sangria and wine based punches date back to antiquity. The quality of European water was so poor that that the common practice of adding alcohol to it was a mere sanitation necessity.   Wine diluted with water as added herbs and spices was consumed by everyone kids and adults alike.  The actual Sangria recipe originated somewhere in the Southern Spain.  The region produced great citrus and fruit but was not a great red grape region.  Winemakers were adding citrus and brandy to inferior wines to spice them up.  Sangria was really not a common drink in the United States until it was featured by the Spanish at the New York World Fair in the 60s. 
Now though it is the ultimate summer party drink.  It goes great with BBQ, it is easy to drink in the heat and it sure as hell has potential to make your party quite fun when consumed by guests in great quantities.
Sangria was traditionally made only with red wine, however I love white sangria.  I find it less abrasive and easy to drink.  I am not a fan of adding any sugar or sweet fruit juices to it, after all it should not taste like juice. Let the wine and brandy do their own talking.   I think the natural sweetness of the wine can just be amplified with fruit.  The very traditional method of mixing just the wine, brandy, fruit and spices can produce a very balanced and pleasant tasting drink. 
One more thing, Sangria needs time to have all those flavors marry, so always make your Sangria the day before serving.  And make a lot, last thing you want is to run out in the middle of a party.

White Sangria
Note: The recipe is for 5 litters of wine, but can be adjusted up or down easily.
5 litters of dry white wine (I like Chablis or Pinot Gris) – for God sakes don’t skimp on the wine.  You do not need to spend a fortune but pick a wine that you would drink on its own.
2 cups of brandy or cognac
3 ripe peaches or nectarines  
1 apple
1 lemon
1 orange
½ cup of blueberries
2 tbs of fresh ginger minced very fine
1 cup of orange juice
1 cup of seltzer or soda water

Heat the orange juice until very hot and mix with ginger.  Let stand for 1 hr until the juice is infused with the gingerly goodness. Strain and mix with wine, brandy and seltzer.  Cut up the fruit into byte size pieces, add to the wine.
Let stand overnight, serve chilled but not diluted with ice.




Enjoy but beware of the hangover!




I think this is a happy customer; he may have been drinking for a while.

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