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Ah... Sangria

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's Saturday. I sip ice-cold sangria, and outside it's hot, hot, hot. The heat is so unusual, that the streets of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn are blissfully empty.

A few passerbys, perilously close to the melting point, saunter on the shady side of the street, looking lost. I wish I could take a long walk and enjoy the uncrowded streets, but alas my Siberian composition is not resilient enough... so, I give up and make sangria.

There are as many recipes for sangria as there are women in Spain. There is no proper, authentic sangria. It is meant to be playful, improvised, lighthearted. Still, it does not always come out well without a recipe. It took a few attempts to get this recipe, which to my taste has the perfect balance of acidity, sweetness, alcohol and refreshment.

Don't wait. Summer will be over before you know it!

What you need:
1 lime, sliced in half moons
1 + 1/3 cups finely sliced pineapple
1 + 1/3 cups sliced strawberries
1 sliced kiwi
3 cups sour cherry juice*
1/2 cup gold passion Alize
1/3 cup dark spiced rum
1 bottle Rioja wine
1.5 cups plain sparkling water

How to do it:
Combine in a pitcher everything except sparkling water. If you don't like pulp, you may want to strain the juice before using it. Let the pitcher stand in the fridge for at least 2 hours (the point is to let the fruit release its juice). Before serving, add sparkling water** for extra spunk. Optionally, drop a couple of ice cubes into every glass and chill out with style.

* Sour cherry juice turned out exceptional for this. My grocery carries Turkish unsweetened sour cherry juice that is not from concentrate. If you can't find something along these lines, you may have to use another juice and play around with the acidity by adding some lemon or lime juice.
** If your party is not large enough to drink the entire pitcher at once, add a little sparkling water to each glass instead of adding it all to the pitcher. Otherwise, Sangria will taste a little stale on the next day.


Nadia S. said...

Sounds tempting and much needed on a hot day :)...
Can I use some other wine instead of Rioja?
What's the point of adding water if you add ice cubes to each glass - they will melt and dilute the drink?

Masha S. said...

You should try it!
Yes, you can use other wine, but Rioja is quintessentially Spanish, and so is sangria. Rioja also has the right balance for sangria in my opinion: full-bodied, rich, not too dry, and not to sweet either. You can also try Cabernet or Merlot, and a number of other wines could fill the ticket.
It's *sparkling* water. It is added mostly for a little bit of carbonation, and not so much to dilute the drink.

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