Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Sipping

I'm on a much-needed vacation this week, so in honor of all things summer, I'd thought I'd share a fantastic recipe for sangria. For the longest time I associated sangria with the stuff swigged out of mason jars at Dominick's in Ann Arbor--the kind that tastes like sweet, non-alcoholic juice until you try to stand up and nearly topple over. The atmosphere at Dominick's was good, but the sangria itself--especially in recent years--isn't all that wallet-friendly, and it was always a little too sweet for my taste.

Then last year a recipe for super-easy sangria found its way into my hands, and with a few simple adjustments, I've never looked back. This one still tastes like red wine but with enough orangey, lovely fruitiness to transform it into pure summer perfection when served over plenty of ice. I highly recommend making up a batch a few hours before you're ready to serve and then let it brew a bit in the fridge. The sangria is great on its own or with any backyard barbecue staples, but it's especially terrific with spicy nibbles like pepper jack cheese, smoky salsa, Mexican dip, you name it. Enjoy!

Summer Sangria

I like to use shiraz, cabernet, merlot, or a blend of a couple of these. Barefoot reds are perfect for sangria because they're typically very cheap (I can usually find two bottles for less than $10), but I'd draw the line at Charles Shaw (a.k.a., "Three-Buck Chuck"). Certainly don't use your best bottle of red, but don't use something rotgut either. Keep it cheap but drinkable!

2 bottles (750 ml each) dry red wine
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus an extra glug of triple sec or Grand Marnier
1 seedless navel orange
1-2 limes

In a large pitcher combine the orange juice, lime juice, and sugar, stirring well until the sugar is dissolved. Add the wine and liqueur and mix well.

Slice the orange and limes and add to the sangria. Refrigerate, allowing the fruit to "stew" until the sangria is well chilled. Serve over ice with extra lime or orange wedges.


Michelle said...

I've been looking for a good Sangria recipe and am so happy to find this - I'm definitely making it soon. Also, congratulations on your new home, it's very pretty and I look forward to more updates on your blog.

Carrie said...

Thanks, Michelle, for your kind note and for stopping by. I'm so pleased I was able to pass along this recipe! Let me know how it turns out for you.

Jess said...

Did I hear you say Ann Arbor? I've been linking to other blogs via comments on Molly's (Orangette), in search of bloggers who live in Michigan. My hubby and I are taking a road trip, and I need insider's advice on where to eat in Ann Arbor! The sangria at Dominick's will not be on my list, but according to you, what should I put on the list?
Thank you for your help!
Jessica (