Monday, December 27, 2010

Wine Mixers: Sangria!

Another exciting wine-based beverage to bring in the holiday cheer:  Sangria.  This was especially popular with "Johnny Depp" and me last Christmas when we visited a Spanish restaurant in Florida.  What a great drink for the light-hearted nature of the few days following Christmas.  

Sangria photo from Google Images

Sangria is a traditional Spanish wine-punch beverage.  Traditionally it is made with red wines (tis the red wine season!) but there are some variations out there using white wines (aka White Wine Sangria).

Sangria photo from Google Images

It's easy to make (and easy to drink).  Look for a young (less than 2 years old), inexpensive red wine that isn't oaked.  Some good varieties include Gamay, Chambourcin, Grenache, Mourvedre, Merlot, Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache, Dolcetto, and Lambrusco.  You can also use some mulled wine as the base, or buy a "Sangria Wine" from some of your local wineries or spirit stores.  (Just be aware that not everyone carries pre-made Sangria wines.  But you should feel free to ask your local winery what would be a good base wine for a homemade Sangria.  If they give you a funny look, say you're having a large party and serving Spanish foods, so Sangria pairs well!)  Add some sliced fruit to a large pitcher, some sweetening agent (table sugar, honey, simple syrup, orange juice, turbinado, peach/apricot nectar), some ice, a spritz of brandy, and a pinch of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), add the wine... and wa la!  Homemade Sangria - drinks all around!

Need some real Sangria recipes?  Here's a couple fun ones that I found:
Lisa's Sangria Recipes  <--- This page has lots of Sangria options. also features a "How to Make Sangria" video.  I liked it.

What's great about Sangria is that it's fruity, you can alter the sweetness to your preference, and you can serve it with almost anything.  We had Sangria with some seafood paella.  Yuuuuuummmm.  

It's fun, it's festive, and it's a good drink for winter cold or hot weather.  Hey - if it's snowing outside, have an indoor Sangria-Mania party.  Cheers!

Sangria with "Johnny Depp" and his family at The Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, FL
(This photo was taken in the St. Augustine Room... if you get a chance to go, which I highly suggest, ask for a tour!  It's worth it.)
Oh yes.  P.S. "Johnny Depp" is not really... Johnny Depp.  ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment