Tuesday, August 13, 2013


We had a few neighbors over the other night for dinner and I thought it would be fun to offer sangria in addition to the ubiquitous wine.  I only made one batch (10 servings) since I assumed that there would not be many takers.  Instead, that was the first thing to go, and I never got a taste.  I know, I should ALWAYS taste things before I serve them to others.  Since the sangria got favorable reviews, I felt the need to make a new batch to try out on my own.  That was on my to-do list today; and Kevin and I enjoyed the fruits (joke) of my labor this evening during a little "happy hour."  Here is the recipe.

RED SUNSET SANGRIA.*    Makes 10 (1/2 cup) servings.
*  3 cups dry red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon but you can use whatever red wine you would most enjoy.)
*  4 to 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
*  3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
*  3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice (Next time I will use less.)
*  1 lemon, thinly sliced
*  1 orange, thinly sliced
*  1/4 cup brandy
*  6 ounces club soda
In a large pitcher, combine wine, sugar, fruit juice, fruit slices and brandy.  Chill several hours, stirring occasionally.  Add club soda just before serving.

Here is the set up.

I used very small lemons.  Next time I'll add orange juice and orange zest which is more to my liking.  I will also probably use a different wine.  Perhaps a Spanish rioja.  In my opinion, the cabernet savignon was too dry and not "fruity" enough.

Be sure to remove the seeds from the fruit slices.

Here is our happy hour.   The pecans were toasted with herbes de Provence; the Spanish cheese was marinated in olive oil, rosemary, thyme, and black peppers.  I learned that to marinate cheese one should use a relatively soft cheese as it will absorb flavors more readily.  For the dinner party, I took a peach/nectarine wedge, added a basil leaf, and wrapped the wedge in proscuitto.  Next time, I will prepare the peach appetizer early in the day in order for the flavors to meld.

A final shot of a little flower arrangement on our screen porch.
*  Recipe Source:  Portland's Palate, A Collection of Recipes from the City of Roses by the Junior League of Portland, Oregon.  As an aside, this is a very good book.  I've made a number of the recipes and they have all been very good.

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