WHY LABOR OVER SANGRIA?

Categories:Events, Cooking, Recipes

By Patrick Evans-Hylton

Sangria is one of the summer essential cocktails, and although the season will soon draw to a close, it’s not over yet. An ancient drink, folks in the Mediterranean have been preparing – and enjoying – sangria in some form for more than 2,000 years. And although it is largely associated with Spain and Portugal, a variation of the drink – sangaree – has been part of Virginia’s eats and drinks history for hundreds of years.

Sangria is a crowd pleaser, and easy to make; you can prepare a pitcher or two and chill before your soiree starts so more time can be focused on your guests and not making drinks.
There is a basic formula for sangria: in a large pitcher, add two cups of prepared fruit, one bottle of red or white wine, a half-cup of spirits, and a quarter or a half cup of fruit juice and stir. The pitcher should be chilled before service.

When serving, pour in tall glasses; fill ice cubes about a third of the way, leave room for a splash of soda or seltzer/club soda as a spritzer if you want, then garnish and serve.
Here are three favorite sangria variations – wines used in each are available at all TASTE store locations. Cheers!

WHITE SANGRIA
Fruit: sliced peaches, peeled and sliced kiwi, whole green grapes, strawberries hulled and halved
Wine: Blenheim Vineyards Painted White
Spirits: rum
Juice: a quarter cup peach or pineapple juice
Spritzer: lemon-lime soda
Garnish: slice of kiwi, with peel left on, split from bottom almost to top, and placed straddling glass rim

ROSE’ SANGRIA
Fruit: sliced plums, whole raspberries, whole red grapes, strawberries hulled and halved
Wine: Les Dauphins Rose’
Spirits: raspberry-flavored vodka
Juice: a quarter cup pomegranate juice or real cranberry juice (not cranberry juice cocktail drink)
Spritzer: seltzer/club soda
Garnish: whole strawberry, split from bottom almost to top, and placed straddling glass rim

RED SANGRIA
Fruit: sliced figs, sliced pears, whole blackberries, whole raspberries
Wine: Grochau Commuter Cuvee Pinot Noir
Spirits: Chambord
Juice: a quarter cup pomegranate juice or real cranberry juice (not cranberry juice cocktail drink)
Spritzer: seltzer/club soda
Garnish: quarter of pear, split from bottom almost to top, and placed straddling glass rim

Patrick Evans-Hylton is TASTE’s resident foodie, hosting a number of delicious events throughout the year. The Johnson & Wales-trained chef and wine and cheese expert is an award-winning food journalist, covering tasty trends since 1995 in print, broadcast and electronic media. He is publisher of Virginia Eats + Drinks Magazine; subscribe free at www.facebook.com/VirginiaEatsDrinksMag