Sangria

Sangria
Last week was named Salad Week and we had different summer salads from sweetcorn salsa to refreshing watermelon to raw fennel. All delicious, healthy dishes, packed with strong flavours and perfect for summer eating. However, in the interest of balance this week will be all about booze and frying.

In our house, sangria means New Year (or Hogmanay as we call it here). A slightly odd combination, I’m not actually sure where it came from, but it’s now a firm family tradition. Sangria is one of my favourite alcoholic cocktails, and when I’m in Spain I can drink it by the bucket load with a bowl of olives and be happy with the world. It’s the perfect drink to make for a barbecue during the summer, or for any occasion that involves lots of people, as you can multiply up the quantities to serve as many as you like – just make sure you have a jug big enough!

This recipe is based on one from Katie Stewart’s Cookbook (our cooking bible, as I mentioned before), with a little extra booze and fruit thrown in for good measure. You can follow this exact recipe to start with, but adapt it to your own taste as you learn what works for you. I’ve had some sangrias in Spain that have enough liquor to get you under the table after just a couple of glasses (I remember one particular concoction at a beach bar which included nearly every spirit in the bar – actually very delicious, but totally deadly) so experiment with different spirits if that’s up your street. If you have a particularly sweet tooth then use lemonade instead of soda water, but personally I find this too much. As for the fruit, basically anything goes. We added peach in to this batch and it worked a treat, as would nectarine. Melon is a great addition to sangria, though some people don’t like the taste. I should probably tell you to get a half decent wine to use, and in fact a Rioja is a perfect option if you find a nice bottle, but really this is a great opportunity to use a cheaper wine. Once the fruit, spirits and soda have gone in, no one will be any wiser. Even more true after a couple of glasses have been quaffed.
Ingredients for homemade sangria
Ingredients
1 orange
2 lemons
Any other fruit you like e.g. apple, peach, melon
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp cointreau
70cl bottle of red wine, chilled
350ml soda water, chilled

Method
1. Chop the fruit into similarly sized pieces. Remove any pips from the lemons and orange, but leave the skin on.
Chopped fruit for sangria
2. Place the fruit into a large jug and pour over the sugar and spirits. Mix well and leave to marinade for at least an hour.
Marinading the fruit for sangria
3. Add the chilled red wine to the jug and leave for at least another half hour.
Adding red wine to the marinated fruit for sangria
4. When ready to serve top the sangria up with soda water. You can alter the quantities of soda water to your taste, depending on whether you like the sangria weaker or stronger.
Topping up the sangria with soda water
5. Fill glasses with ice and pour over the sangria with some fruit pieces.
Sangria
Serve as a punch at a party, with the main course of a Spanish meal or as an aperitif with olives, some sliced Manchego cheese and serrano ham or just some fresh crusty bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. Close your eyes as you sip and you could nearly be on the beaches of Spain.

5 thoughts on “Sangria

  1. Pingback: Spanish prawns and chorizo | The Proof of the Pudding

  2. Pingback: A few of my favourite things | The Proof of the Pudding

  3. Pingback: Moroccan chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives | The Proof of the Pudding

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