I apologize for the radio silence over the last few days, I’ve been fully preoccupied with celebrating my 30th birthday with the proper amount of energy and attention that a landmark like that deserves. That kind of dedication to celebration doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for writing. I do have lots of good stuff coming up in the next week, including my adaptation of my dad’s from-scratch, whole grain pancake mix, homemade granola and some truly excellent pickles okra (as far as I’m concerned, okra is best served either pickled or breaded and fried) to make up for my neglect.
Before we dig into those goodies, I will leave you with my oh-so-exact recipe for sangria. This is one of my favorite party drinks and so was what I chose to bring to my birthday garden shindig. The night before I want to serve the sangria, I take a large jar (this one holds nearly 2 quarts of liquid, but if you don’t find yourself with a similarly proportioned jar, using two quart jars is fine) and pack it with sliced fruit. This time around I used lemons, limes, oranges, apricots, a couple of white nectarines and some strawberries, because that’s what was available cheaply at my local produce market. You could also use apples, grapes, peaches, plums or mango. Then I poured inexpensive brandy into the jar, until the fruit was covered. Lid on jar and into the fridge for an overnight soak.
When you’re ready to serve the sangria, pour your boozy fruit out into a punch bowl, large pitcher or other serving recepticle. Since we were imbiding outdoors, I used a large, food service-type plastic container. Top if off with 3-4 bottles or one box of red wine (two-buck Chuck is a good wine for this application). I froze a pound of red grapes to use as ice cubes, but managed to forget them in the hustle of getting out the door. They’re a great way to keep your sangria cooled down without watering it into tastelessness. If you like your sangria sweet, add a bit of simple syrup (sugar + water) or do what I did and add a couple of glugs of lemonade to the mix (sacrilege, I know). Ladle sangria into cup and top off with an inch or two of sparkling water to give it some fizz.