Jewish Food

The Boozy Jew: Dreaming Of Summer And Sangria

With the approach of summer comes thoughts of Saturday afternoons spent in the park al fresco drinking. Nothing says the day of rest like getting sun and a slight buzz. Read More

By / May 25, 2011
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With the approach of summer comes thoughts of Saturday afternoons spent in the park al fresco drinking.  Nothing says the day of rest like getting sun and a slight buzz.  There are several beverages one could consume outdoors that would suffice, crisp pilsner, light wheat beer with a slice of orange, or Rose (which we have written about), but I think there’s nothing better to consume outdoors than Sangria.

Sangria, which means bleeding, originates from Spain, where it can be found all over the country, but first became popular here in the US after the 1964 Worlds Fair when it was introduced at the Spanish Pavilion.

Sangria is a drink many have come to associate with cheap red wine, and horrible hangovers.  But that’s not the way Sangria should be.  To all those bar and restaurant owners using old or bad red and white wine in Sangria as a way to still move product and take in revenue, sham on you! You are ruining what Sangria is supposed to be! 

A good Sangria should be made with a good quality red wine, that has assertive flavors.  Red wines typical of these characteristics would be Rioja, Cabernet, or Burgundy.  And just because I am advocating that you not use cheap red wine, does not mean the wine you do use shouldn’t be affordable.  There are plenty of great reds under $15, just trust your wine merchant and ask, if they steer you to the jugs of red wine, just don’t shop there again!

After you get the wine, head home and make up a batch.  This is the recipe I like:

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle Rioja or other red wine
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar – if using sprite, omit
  • a wide array of fruit cut into bit sized chunks, including orange, apple, strawberry, grapes, etc
  • 2 ounces Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 2 ounces brandy
  • 12 ounces cold club soda – can substitute sprite here

Mix this all together and let it chill for an hour or more, then serve!  It’s the perfect outdoor summer drink.