Monday, July 26, 2010

Sangria

To this day I can remember my first sweet, cold sip of Sangria, enjoyed while dining on a patio in Barcelona, Spain.  Spanish music and dancers entertained us as we sipped our way through pitcher after pitcher of the thirst quenching, burgundy colored beverage and munched on the drunken fruits at the bottom of our glasses.  I was only 18 at the time and didn't have much experience with alcoholic drinks, but I knew that I had found something special and this "foodie" memory is one of my finest!

Over the years I have tried numerous Sangrias, each time hoping to be transported back to my Spanish patio, but not a one has ever taken me back to that first taste.  I began to wonder if my mind was exaggerating the memory, and I even started to doubt if Sangria was really that good.   Maybe my palette had changed over the years?  Maybe it was the whole being on vacation in a beautiful city in a fine restaurant that enhanced the memory?  In any case... I unchecked the Sangria box on my foods and drinks I love list. 

Then one day my friend Waleska had a pool party and brought out a pitcher of homemade Sangria made from an old family recipe from Panama.  It did look beautiful... deep burgundy in color and garnished with an array of chopped fruits (the little apple squares are my favorite!).  She offered me a chilled glass and I accepted.  And there it was... I closed my eyes and I was back in Spain on that sunny patio enjoying the sweet, chilled refreshment that I had so longingly remembered!  Only this time it was better.   Since then I have rechecked the Sangria box on my list, but I'm a bit fickle as I will only drink hers.


A few weeks ago my birthday fell on the evening of our local Carlsbad Jazz in the Park.  We met Waleska and her family at the set location and sitting on our little portable picnic table was a big pitcher of her fabulous Sangria!  Who could ask for a better present?  Good friends, good music, and the best Sangria ever.

Happy Birthday to me!
  
PS... My husband and I hope to take our kids to Spain in the next year or two... I'll be looking forward to some wonderful Sangria, but somehow I don't think it will be as good as it is at home.




Sangria Tradicion
Waleska

½ cup orange juice
½ cup lime juice
½ cup sugar
1 bottle dry red wine
¼ cup brandy
1 can cold club soda
1 cup assorted chopped fruit (oranges, lemon, apple..)
ice cubes

In a large pitcher combine the juices and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.  Mix in the red wine, brandy and chopped fruits, chill.  Before serving add the can of club soda.  Serve over ice cubes. 

9 comments:

  1. Mmm, I feel thirsty just reading your post. :) I have had some good sangria in my day, but I have never actually prepared it myself! I should definitely change that! And btw, I also love your description of the Sangria as "burgundy" in color, conjures a really beautiful image.

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  2. Although I haven't yet had a Sangria in Spain, I have had a really good one that I have never been able to replicate. I will try your recipe next! I too love the apples!

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  3. Yum! Sangria is one of my favorites. Love that taste of Spain and how refreshing it can be on a hot day. Here's another refresher to share with your readers: Blueberry Orange Smash - so good too! Great post!

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  4. Cilantro, I've never actually prepared it myself either, but this one makes it look easy, and it's been a hit every time!

    Tiffany, I sure hope you like it! I believe you can adjust the sugar if you like less or more sweet. It's fairly sweet as it is and I'm not usually a "sweet drink" person, but I sure do love this one.

    Busy Mom, your recipe looks great! We still don't have sun her in San Diego, but when it does pop out this will be a wonderful beside the pool drink! Thanks for the link.

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  5. Oh! I so feel the same way about sangria... I try and try but it's just not so great. I will definitely give this one a try though... great job! :)

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  6. Hope you like this one as much as we do. I always love those little fruits in the glass, and my friend does such a good job cutting all those apples in perfect squares...!

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  7. Even middle of winter your Sangria looks so inviting!
    Cheers:)
    J & C

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  8. I have searched and searched for "the" Sangria recipe. I can hardly wait for the week end to mix this up!

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  9. Kate... enjoy!!! The weekend is almost here!!

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