Friday 22 August 2014

Fun Fridays & Sangria

It's Friday and the weekend awaits... perfect time to share my Sangria recipe :) I love red wine sangria. It's one of my favourite drinks especially when the weather is hot and sultry. I've tasted sangria in a lot of bars and restaurants in Delhi and Gurgaon, and I think I can honestly say that mine is pretty damn good. I know, I know, I'm blowing my own trumpet... again! But it really is, and it's not just my husband that says so :)

The problem with a lot of Sangria's I've tasted is that they end up tasting a lot like cough syrup... I think it's because of the addition of cranberry juice, which is a pretty gross, at least the ones we get in the market here. Now sangria that tastes like cough medicine is fine if you have a cough, otherwise it's not pleasant. For me, sangria will  always be the perfect Summer drink and it should be citrusy, spicy and not too sweet. I love serving it at parties and it's great because you can get away with using cheap wines. In fact, the cheaper the better! I've read that any wine that's dry and full bodied will do and it's been suggested to me that Shiraz is a good choice from Indian wines. I usually use Sula's Madera or Mosaic Red since they are are pretty reasonably priced between Rupees 350-400 a bottle and I don't see any reason in spending more on a wine that's going in a sangria. I heard you can also use port, but only if it's dry, not the sweet kind you get in Goa or you will end up with a disgustingly sweet drink.

A Sangria is basically made up of 4 parts- the wine, the hard liquor which can vary from brandy to vodka, the juices or mixers and fruit. I like using seasonal fruits, so in summer in India, pomegranate, apples and pears are good options, but in the cooler months, peaches and strawberries also work really well. What ever fruit you use though, orange, in my opinion, is a must and because of this, when it comes to the hard booze I like adding Cointreau and brandy instead of vodka. 

My Recipe for Sangria

A bottle of red wine
60 ml Cointreau 
60 ml brandy (the cheap stuff will do)
1 - 1 1/2 cup orange juice (1st add a cup and then add more if you feel it's necessary) 
1/2 cup Limca (fizzy Lemonade)
1 orange sliced
1/2 a red apple (chopped relatively small)
1/2 a pear (chopped relatively small)
seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate 
1 cinnamon stick

First place the orange slices and pomegranate seeds in a pitcher and muddle or squash them up a bit. Then mix all the remaining ingredients in and chill for at least 3 hours, because that's how much time you need for the love to happen between the fruit and wine :) (The fruit gives off their flavor and also get a chance to absorb the flavor of the wine) Just before serving add a few ice cubes and enjoy! But be careful, it goes down really easily, and quickly but it's still wine and you may have a killer headache in the morning if you enjoy it a little too much :)


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