Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Killer Sangria

Happy late Beltane and Happy early Cinco de Mayo!  These two holidays are both near and dear to my heart because they are both celebrated widely where I live and among people I know, and they come at the beginning of May right around the time that summery weather kicks in all over the bay area.  So in honor of these two holidays and the coming summer months, I want to share with you all a recipe I conococted for some really amazing sangria.  You will need a liquid measuring cup, a quarter-cup dry measuring cup, and a pitcher that holds at least 2 quarts.
  • 1 bottle (750ml) of crappy red wine (I use Charles Shaw Merlot)
  • 2 cups of fruit juice (I use Trader Joe's Mango Passion Fruit Blend)
  • 1 cup of plain white rum
  • 10 fluid ounces of ginger ale
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 kinds of fruit, to taste (I usually use clementine oranges and firm kiwis, two of each)
Measure and mix all of the liquid ingredients in your pitcher.  Then stir in the sugar until it completely disolves.  Lastly, peel the kiwis and slice them.  Slice the oranges with the skin on.  Fill the pitcher with both fruits until the liquid reaches the top.  Allow to sit overnight in the fridge for best results. 

TIPS:  This recipe was designed to make exactly 2 quarts, since that's how big the juice pitcher was that I was using at the time I was developing the sangria.  However, this NEVER seems to be enough if you have more than, say, four people around!  So buy accordingly; grab several bottles of wine, lots of fruit, and a 2-liter of ginger ale (and of course make sure you have enough juice, rum, and sugar as well).  Make more than one batch if you think you are going to need it, because although it can be made on the spot, the sangria tastes sooooo much better when it has been allowed to sit and chill for at least a few hours.  Also, the addition of the fruit is not an exact science, so if you are using a larger container, naturally you can use more fruit.  I think that pineapple or strawberries might also work really well, although I have never tried either one.  Experiment, and see what you come up with.  That's how I "discovered" this recipe in the first place!

Finally, a word of caution:  when prepared correctly, this sangria is sweet, fruity, and delicious and does not taste like booze at all, but it will KICK YOUR ASS if you are not careful how much you drink.  So be responsible, enjoy, and have fun!