Thursday, May 12, 2011


Summer days, particularly the waiting time before the BBQ fire's hot enough to use, call for something with a little punch to it. Consider Sangria. I use Carlo Rossi Hearty Burgundy or Black Swan Cab. A tempranillo or garnacha from Spain would work well, too. In my view, French reds won't cut it.

1 750 ml bottle red wine

2 tbsp orange juice concentrate
1/3 C Triple Sec
1 L Diet 7-Up
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or to taste
1/2 C Simple syrup (equal parts white sugar & water, boiled until clear)

 1 juice orange, in half, sliced crossways thinly

Mix first five ingredients in a large pitcher. Agitate with a wooden spoon whirled between your palms. Taste; add simple syrup until it's to your taste. Chill up to two hours. Add orange slices 30 minutes before serving to avoid the bitter oils leaching into the sangria. Should there be leftovers (hah!) remove orange slices before refrigerating. Can be doubled or tripled, but be cautious about the cinnamon. Simple syrup keeps well in fridge for 2 weeks or longer.
There are people who add a hefty slug of brandy to this, but I prefer to stay sober long enough to actually taste the stuff.
TRY THE WOODEN SPOON TRICK. It looks good and it seems to make a difference. Don't, for petesakes, use a plastic spoon. If you've got one of those rare old Mexican hand-carved wooden chocolate frothers, that'd be a nice touch, too.
A Cuban friend says this recipe is as good as any he's tasted. And that's good enough for me.

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I try to answer all comments, but when I'm on the road sometimes I'm not near internet cafes. Patience! Eat some chocolate! I will get back to you!