Monday, August 29, 2011

summer must eats, vol. 2.

Can you say "slacker?" HA. I've been crazy busy, with lots of great stuff on the horizon and a great trip to New York under my belt, writing has fallen to the wayside. Well, at least writing I don't get paid for... Anyway, I will have to do a New York round up and get some photos posted, but the SLR stayed mostly packed away, so I don't have much to show.

Summer is winding down here in the Pacific Northwest. It's gray and cloudy today, and it's sucking my motivation to go for a run. So, to postpone any physical activity, I thought I'd post a summer must eat, only it's really a must drink. SANGRIA! I had a birthday party for the old man a few weeks ago, tapas style. I made a bunch of small finger foods and salads, and we washed them all down with a giant, soccer-camp style cooler of sangria. Let me tell you: This sangria is sneaky. I mean, the name says it all. Be sure to warn your guests to take it slow!

Two things I did that worked out great: 1) I froze about a two-cup block of good ginger ale to toss in as the guests arrived. This cooled the sangria and, we'll say, thinned it out. 2) I added a quart-size bag of frozen strawberries we had purchased at the farmer's market a few weeks ago. They were really delicious, and were sweet enough that I added no sugar to this recipe. Honestly, I probably wouldn't add sugar anyway, so unless you have a huge sweet tooth, it's not necessary.

The key to me is to get a wine that is full-bodied but not jammy or too fruit-forward. Obviously, Spanish tempranillo works great. I found a very decent sangria-quality wine at my local store for $6.99 a bottle. Just ask in any decent wine store, and someone should be able to guide you. Also, I use Don's Mix (linked below). There are recipes online to make your own, but I bought mine at a local quality liquor store.

Sneaky Summer Sangria
(approximately 30-40 servings - depending on your guests - you know what I mean)

3-4 bottles of tempranillo or other red wine
3/4 c. Applejack apple brandy
1/2 c. Don's Mix
Juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
Juice of 1 orange
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 limes, sliced
Other fruit if you choose

In your appropriately sized mixing vessel, muddle the Applejack and fruit slices. Pour in the wine, juices, and Don's Mix and stir. Let flavors combine for several hours. Add 3-4 cups of ginger ale or club soda right before serving (or in individual cups). Garnish with citrus wheels. Party!!

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