Real Food for Real Life

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Summer beverages...

Sangria

The hot summer weather means it is time for cooling and refreshing summer beverages...sparkling water and iced tea reign (no sweet tea, thank you) during the day, but the often sweltering evenings call for something different, something special.  Sangria and sangria blanca (white sangria) fit the bill perfectly, they are icy, fruity, and being lower on the alcohol scale, infinitely refreshing.  I have made both of these over the last few weeks, each pitcher lasting for several days in the fridge, only getting better with time as the fruit continues to infuse the wine.  I want to make another pitcher now just writing about it.
Sangria

1 bottle of a fruity, dry red wine (I used Shiraz)
1/2 cup triple sec
a good amount of assorted fresh fruit, cut up (I used lemon, lime, tangerine, and pineapple)
sparkling water and ice for serving (I used a slightly sweetened lime flavored water)

In a pitcher combine the wine, triple sec, and fruit; do this no later than the morning of the day you wish to serve it, preferably the day before.  Cover the top of the pitcher with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.  To serve, fill a glass with ice and fill halfway with the wine mixture, top off with the sparkling water, drink, smile and say "aahh."  Let the fruit pieces go into the glass(es) as you serve and just eat the fruit after you have enjoyed the sangria.


I know that sangria is Spanish, not Mexican, in origin, but I made a pitcher of sangria blanca for cinco de mayo anyway, it just sounded good to me, and was a perfect foil for the spicy loaded nachos/taco salad that we had for dinner.  Ben went with Dos Equis, a nice cervesa mexicana.  The white sangria is made in the same manner, just substitute a dry white wine for the red, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.  You may also wish to use a chardonay, just do not use a heavily oaked one, the flavor will compete with the fruit.
Sangria Blanca and Dos Equis
 Topping choices for the tortilla chips included: guacamole, corn & bean salsa, sour cream, pickled jalapenos, chopped onion & cilantro, sliced radishes, sliced green olives, halved grape tomatoes, shredded romaine, shredded sharp cheddar, and one of our favorite salsas picantes, Tapatio.  Not shown are the refried beans and the ground pork pork cooked with chipotle.
Is it a salad, or is it a plate of loaded nachos?  Don't know, don't care, it just tasted good.

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