Friday, March 2, 2012

Sumptuous Sips: Red Wine Sangría

Enjoying sangría while cooking in one of my classes at
Don Coqui's in New Rochelle! (With "students" Angelica Alicia Rubiano and Julie Spielvogel!)

From my second book of cocktails/appetizers, Calypso Coolers 

Ah—yes! If it’s Friday—it must be cocktail time...and this time, sangría is on the menu! 

When you're looking for a drink that's got bold flavors and colors, marries well with so many flavors--and boasts versatility,  is nothing like sangría! Whether you're serving it with tapas--or baked ziti--it's a welcome addition. Not too long ago, we had a tapas fiesta here at home, and the sangría—accessible, fruity, yet not too sweet—was a huge hit. In fact it was hard to keep up with the demand, despite making about 6 bottles ahead of time! The thing that makes this wine-based drink so lovely is that it’s not only gorgeous and delicious, but also so “user friendly” and adaptable.

This sangría—which like many I first enjoyed in Spain (when I lived in Barcelona many moons ago...)  has brandy along with wine—can be varied according to available fruit as well as your taste!   If you have the time, let your sangría steep for 24 hours. This recipe can easily be doubled (and more!)  for a bigger crowd. Enjoy—and do tell me how you like it! 

Makes about 4 servings

1 bottle fruity Cabernet (I prefer Chilean)
½ cup brandy
¼ cup Cointreau or triple sec (or to taste)
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (or to taste)
¼ cup ginger-infused simple syrup (ginger infusion is optional —but should be ½ fresh ginger, peeled and sliced, plus equal parts water and sugar, cooked over medium heat until sugar dissolves, and cooled), or to taste
1 apple, unpeeled and sliced (should be local, crisp, and tart—honeycrisp is a great choice!)
1 orange, sliced into half moon-shaped pieces
Chilled sparkling water to top it off (optional—but very refreshing in warmer months, which I hear are coming soon!)


Combine ingredients together and let stand in a covered pitcher or  tightly sealed container  for at least a few hours (ideally 24!)  in the refrigerator prior to serving.

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