5 Sangrias on a cold winter's day...wait a minute, wasn't that supposed to be a warm breezy day on the patio? Well, yes that would be the time one would traditionally think Sangria, but we didn't let the rain and dark clouds stop us. We just created more indoor sunshine, this time with a group of women in a small Swiss kitchen, open to trying a twist on traditional Sangria recipes.
What did we learn? That we like white and rosé Sangrias, and might even consider dressing them up and taking them out. Out of the pitcher, that is, and into the cocktail or champagne glass to serve them for brunch or as an aperitif. We learned that we like herbs in our sangrias, and that while some of us aren't so sure about coffee as a flavor enhancer, some of us who like coffee found it oddly satisfying!
We had a great evening, and hope that we helped to carry in the sunshine and warmth. The weather forecast finally has something beyond clouds and coolness for the first time in, well, weeks. So while we didn't have the warm weather for the tasting perhaps it was just in time to escort in the sunny weekend. 24 degrees (75 Fahrenheit), we are ready.
In case you have the weather for Sangria, here are the recipes for what we tasted. Remember that these recipes are really a starting point, perhaps an inspiration. Taste along the way and add/adjust to make them your own unique creations.
Sparkling Pear Sangria
1 bottle Prosecco
4 cups Schweppes Pear Lime (or sparkling pear cider)
3/4 cup orange liqueur
3/4 cup pear brandy
2 cups grapes, mango, raspberries, or other fruit
Combine orange liquer, pear brandy and fruit. Refrigerate for several hours to let flavors meld. Add Pear Lime Schweppes and Prosecco and serve immediately.
Basil Peach Sangria
3/4 cup sugar*
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
3 1/2 cups peach nectar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 bottle light white wine (such as Pinot Grigio, nothing with oak)
In a saucepan combine the sugar, basil leaves, half the peach nectar, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, crushing the basil leaves with the back of a spoon to release their flavor. Simmer just long enough to melt the sugar, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain the basil mixture into a pitcher filled with ice cubes. Pour in wine and remaining peach nectar. Stir briefly and serve.
*Note: Most of us agreed that we'd add less sugar to this recipe, 1/3 to 1/2 cup should be plenty.
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup boiling water
15 sage leaves plus more for garnish
1 bottle rosé
Lemon twists for garnish
Stir honey into boiling water until dissolved. Add 15 sage leaves and muddle them with a wooden spoon. Let syrup cool slightly then strain into a pitcher pressing hard on sage leaves.
Pour in rosé and stir well. Serve over ice, garnishing with remaining sage leaves and lemon twists.
Jon's Red Sangria
1 orange, 1 lemon, sliced thinly
2 liters (8 cups) red wine
1-2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups sparkling water
Pinch of coarse dark roast coffee*
Put fruit slices in a large pitcher and pour wine over fruit. Cover pitcher and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving add the rest of the ingredients. Serve over ice. This recipe can be easily adapted to white sangria using white wine and stone fruits, and yes, coffee!
*Coffee acts as flavor enhancer
Thanks to my friend Jon in Cleveland Heights for this recipe!
Sonda's Red Sangria
1 liter (4 cups) red wine
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup Triple Sec
1/4 cup brandy
2 cups ginger ale*
Fresh fruits and berries
Combine all liquids except ginger ale and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve add ginger ale and fruit. Serve over ice.
Thanks to Sonda, Erin's mom, for this recipe!
*For a great homemade ginger ale recipe, check out the following -