Thursday, January 31, 2008
I've gotten my share of friends and neighbors sloshed on many occasions. No, I'm not a bartender nor a rich man habitually buying rounds for the house every night. But, what I can do is make killer SANGRIA. I have had many many people over the years ask me to make Sangria for them - and have enthusiastically done so. In fact, I made bathtubs full for my very close friend Andy's wedding several years ago - got about 250 people shit-faced on that hot summer day.
What's the secret? Simple. Don't add things that don't belong and you'll be swell, you'll be great... I go with a simple Castilian recipe taught to me while on my last trip to Spain, in the city pictured above, Fuenterrabia (sadly, 10 years ago - but I'm off to Espana again this spring). That's it. No kiwi, no strawberries, no pineapple, no bastardizing of any sort.
Let's say you want to make a batch for a group of like 5-10 people. Here we go:
1 Pear (yes, a pear I learned this in the Basque Country)
1/2 "Bout" half a Cup Sugar
1 to 2 Bottles of decent Red Wine (Rioja would be best) but a nice Cabernet, Zin, or Merlot works too.
3-5 Cinnamon Sticks (3 for mild, 5 for bold)
Lastly, you'll need something to cut it with - a two liter of Sprite works nicely. Now then, cut the fruit into thin slices and put them into a punch bowl. Slowly add the wine into the bowl and put the cinnamon sticks in there at this time (if you don't have sticks you can use ground cinnamon, but it's hard to dissolve).
Store this in the refrigerator for at the VERY VERY LEAST 4 to 6 hours. In point of fact, all day is best - proper osmosis occurs after about 7 or 8 hours - this is when it starts to taste unbelievably good. Pull it from the refrigerator and add the sugar and Sprite to taste. Not too much sugar and not too much Sprite - add them slowly, tasting frequently. When you like it - STOP. You're ready to get yourself and your friends drunk - and BUT QUICK, Sangria creeps up super fast. Enjoy damas y caballeros. That is the secret to Fan-Damn-Tastic Sangria - don't fuck with it.