Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The temperatures are finally starting to climb, the sun is now out well past dinner, and I've seen lots of slip-n-slides adorning lawns -- all the signs of impending summer are there. The warm temperatures often force those of us who keep the red wine vintners in business to switch to something that can be chilled, either white wines or beers. While I'm not about to say anything negative towards these fermented beverages- there are certainly nights when a cold beer is the best thing on the planet, winos with a preference for reds need a way to keep our palates sated. Enter: chilled, fruity sangria!
If you googled 'sangria recipe', you would probably find hundreds of different versions -- just as every Italian family has their own tomato sauce recipe, so every Spanish family has their own sangria recipe. This particular recipe came from my language teacher the summer I lived in Salamanca, Spain, finishing my Spanish minor. The summer I spent in Salamanca was utterly fantastic- the food, my roommates, ridiculous adventures. I very highly recommend studying and traveling abroad to EVERYONE. It's always worth the money. Always!
Before I get too nostalgic for Salamanca and my former roommates/host mom, I should probably give you the recipe. This is best when made the night before, so the fruit flavors have lots of time to both permeate into the wine/liquor mix and also to soak up some of the alcohol. Getting ahold of some of the boozey fruit is usually a hot commodity when this recipe goes to parties, but fair warning that it is po-tent! I made the mistake once of grabbing a few pieces for breakfast when my fridge was empty during my undergrad career, being a sangria neophyte and assuming the fruit wouldn't be too strong... I have no idea what happened in lecture that day. Zip. Zero. Zilch. But I do remember being very amused!

Quick note before I turn you over to the recipe: there're going to be some changes coming to the blog - better layout, more user-friendly, and while I will be the primary auther, Andrew and a few other friends will hopefully pop-in from time-to-time as guest authors. None of these updates should affect your ability to get a recipe fix, so keep checking back!

Makes 1 large pitcher

2 bottles of Spanish Rioja wine
*You can use any red wine, but keep in mind that the fruit/brandy won't cover up a cheap, subpar-tasting wine!
2 oranges
1 apple
2 peaches
2/3 cup brandy
1/3 cup sugar (may add more to taste- just make sure it dissolves first!)
Couple dashes of cinnamon

1. Pour wine, brandy, cinnamon and sugar into pitcher. Stir until sugar dissolves.
2. Wash and slice fruit into 1" rectangular pieces (or just try and keep them uniform).
3. Carefully add fruit to the pitcher. Stir to mix throughout the wine.
4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Salud!

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