Archive for the 'Sangria Summer' Category

29
May
11

Sangria Summer Vol. 2

Well, the experimenting with the sangria-ish recipes has had its ups and downs over this week. I didn’t post last week, like I should have, but here’s the run down of what’s happened:

Test Batch 1

Not every batch is a success.

So, I felt like I should experiment using kiwi. I grabbed a random bottle of white wine, fruit, and set to work. Except, to my chagrin, I had grabbed a bottle of dry white wine. You know what doesn’t help an experimental sangria? A dry wine.

The fruit I used in this was primarily apple, kiwi … and then I hit mistake No. 2: I added lemon.

Now, this wasn’t exactly horrible — it was definitely drinkable, but just not really … you know … good. But as always, I took mental notes, and here’s my observations:

  1. Get a sweet wine for the base. Sounds like a no-brainer, but for a non-wine knowledgeable guy like me, write it down and remember it.
  2. Kiwi sinks to the bottom. I think it’s trying to find its way home to New Zealand.
  3. Lemon overpowers the taste of everything else, so if you add lemon, a little goes a long way.

Test Batch 2

I failed to take pictures of the sangria, so here's the awesome wings we had.

My friend @Pantster was having a BBQ for his girlfriend, and asked if I would make some sangria for it. Done and done! I made 2 different kinds: One that I call “Dreamy” and the other was “Lemonade.”

Dreamy:

Dreamy was a refined batch from the first batch of sangria I made. Here’s what I did:

  1. Peeled/juiced 2.5 oranges. The other .5, I basically cut into small pieces for fruit in the mix.
  2. Peeled/juiced half a lemon, half a lime.
  3. Cut up 1 apple into tiny pieces, juiced another apple.
  4. Cut up about a quarter of a honeydew. I juiced the shell, cause hey, why not?
  5. Wine choice was a Yellowtail Rose, with a added splash of Yellowtail Riesling.
  6. Added ice and half a liter of club soda before serving.

I let it all sit overnight. Let me tell you, it smelled great. It went over well at the BBQ.

Observations:

  1. I added water to it while I let it sit overnight. This was a mistake, as after I added the club soda and ice, it washed out the taste. Still good, but not as punchy as it should have been.
  2. Next time, adding more wine, and probably some cherries.
  3. Going to marinate half the apple chunks in wine first, then add freshly cut apples 2 hrs or so before serving to give a crisper, cleaner taste.

How can you refuse the Presidente? (What I was drinking after the sangria was gone.)

Lemonade:

I’ve been toying with this idea for a little while. When I use the juicer to make lemonade, it’s just apple, lemon and water. I applied that basic principle to this sangria.

  1. I used a 1 lemon: 2 apple ratio for the juicer. This particular batch was 1.5 juiced lemons, and 3 juiced apples.
  2. I diced up the remaining lemon, and another whole apple.
  3. I threw in about 1.25L of Yellowtail Riesling.
  4. I cut up about 1/4 of a honeydew, added the fruit, juiced the shell.
  5. About 5-6 hours before serving, I cut up and added 4 large strawberries.
  6. Added 1/2 liter of club soda and ice before serving.

Now, personally, I didn’t like this batch. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great in my mind. I thought the lemon wasn’t pronounced enough of a taste, and the strawberries quickly overwhelmed it. However, the folks at the BBQ dug it — some saying they preferred it over Dreamy.

Observations:

  1. Cutting up the lemon was a mistake. While people love eating the apple, biting in to the random lemon was a bit much for some.
  2. Next time, I may do a 1:1 lemon/apple, and then juice 1 or 2 more apple for more of a lemon punch.
  3. I’ll add the same amount of strawberries, but I’ll add them around 2 hours before serving.
  4. Again, next time I won’t add water to it.
  5. This one was made about 8 hrs prior to the BBQ — I may make the next batch like 4 hrs before the gathering.

(NOTE: When I say “juiced,” this means I’m actually using my handy-dandy fruit/vege juicer. Also, all apples are “Red Delicious” apples. I may try a Granny Smith in the mix soon.)

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20
May
11

Sangria days of summer

Some folks can't handle their sangria. (Image distorted to protect the rebelliously drunk individual.)

I’m not exactly sure when the idea first hit me that I wanted to drink sangria. I mean, technically, I’m not a wine guy … and I had only had sangria once before, and that was my fraternity’s homecoming celebration and my friend Corey and I drank 2 carafes of it. But, one thing I do know — beer and I don’t always get along in summer. A lot of times, it’s too hot for me to drink beer — and if I do drink it, I feel miserable. So, obviously I needed a different drink. Mixed drinks were always an option, as were margaritas. But I wanted something that took a little less work than margaritas, and something that wouldn’t leave me trashed like mixed drinks. Sangria seemed to be the best option available.

Again, having never made it, I reached out to friends for recipes. And I got quite a few. So, I’ve decided to try them and then share them here. Please bear in mind, these aren’t supposed to be hardcore traditional … it’s an exercise in having fun and experimenting with different flavors and tastes.

The first came from my friend Jenny O., who I’ve known since my Florida days. Here it is:

It'll do, pig. It'll do.

Ingredients: You’ll need a decent size pitcher.

2 limes, 2 lemons, 2 oranges

1 apple (red delicious) cut into small edible chunks.

1 can of club soda, 1 bottle of Tempranillo Wine or Rioja. (Cheap Spanish Wine – the best to use for sangria. Don’t substitute.)
Mix sugar with juice from 1 lemon in pitcher. Cut other lemon into 1/4″ moon slices and add to pitcher. Add juice from 1 lime and add. Cut other lime into 1/4″ moon slices. Same thing with the Orange. Add diced up apples to mixture. Add entire bottle of Wine, mix well. Let sit overnight. Add 1 cup club soda (or more depending on taste) and mix.

This seemed pretty straight forward. I went and got a gallon pitcher, and a bottle of Tempranillo/Cabernet since my local liquor store only carried pricey tempranillo rioja.

I pretty much did all of this except add sugar. The reason is because I figured with all the fruit, adding sugar would make it too sweet for me to drink. I don’t have a sweet tooth, and really sweet/sugary things make me want to gag. Also, I juiced 1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime in my juicer. Lastly, since I was heading over to my friend @pantster’s place, I figured I could grab club soda at Sheetz. No dice. Had to opt for Sprite Zero.

The results?

Batch number 1.

Here’s my observations:

  1. The cut up fruit of 1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime took up a lot more space in the pitcher than I thought. When I added the wine, it barely topped the fruit. You can see it in the pitcher — it’s almost packed in.
  2. The cut up fruit should have been peeled. We found ourselves snacking on the fruit, but the lime? That got pitched. Same with the lemon. The apple and orange got devoured.
  3. Honestly, it felt like I shoulda had 1.5 or 2 bottles of wine in there. Now I see why other recipes call for brandy.
  4. I think club soda would have been a better choice than flavored stuff. Next time, club soda. Definitely.

Overall, this was pretty tasty. Despite my outlining what changes I would make, I would have no problems drinking this again, as is.

For my first attempt, I’ll give it a B. Good, but with room for improvement.




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