I had a glass of sangria tonight at Kino Cafe, which features some of the best flamenco I’ve ever seen. (Yes, I’ve been to Spain, but bear in mind that I was 18 and probably didn’t appreciate the finer things in life. However, I probably did like the sangria in Spain.) Anyway, my point is that if you haven’t been to see flamenco dancing at Kino Cafe, you must go post-haste and check it out. It’s awesome. The food is satisfactory at best, but let’s face it – no one’s there for the food.
But, back to sangria. My recipe for sangria includes a bottle of cheap wine (Naked Grape Shiraz is a good choice, since it’s not too sweet), a bottle of club soda, and one each of an orange, (pink) grapefruit, lemon and lime. I find a lot of sangrias too sweet, so I like adding citrus fruit for a bit of tartness. The other good thing about using citrus fruits is that they tend to release juice into the sangria, and not suck up wine tastiness. If you use apples or pears, as some places do, you end up concentrating the wine in the fruit – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it makes the actual sangria taste a little bit flat.
First, you need to cut the fruit into supremes. A supreme is the juicy part of the fruit, free of rind and the white membrane between sections. Here’s a video that kind of sucks, but at least you can see what I’m talking about. The video sucks partly because of the hokey black chef’s jacket, largely because of the guy’s poor knife technique – I keep cringing and thinking he’ll slice his fingertips off – and mostly because he’s using what is clearly a dull knife. You can use any old knife to do it, provided it’s a sharp one. Contrary to what “chef” (the quotation marks are there to indicate that I doubt this guy’s culinary credibility) says, you do not need to use a scimitar.
Anyway, once you’ve sliced the fruit into supremes, put it in the bottom of a pitcher. If you’re like most people, there’s probably some fruit still attached to the membrane bits, so squeeze out any remaining juice into the pitcher. Then, pour the entire bottle of wine over the fruit and let the mixture sit in your fridge for about an hour. If you can’t wait that long, then 20 minutes should do it. Fill a glass with ice cubes, fill it two-thirds full with your red wine mixture, and then top it up with club soda. Some people will think that the addition of club soda is sacreligious, but I like the fizziness of it.
This sangria recipe makes a nice, light sangria that you can drink on your patio while watching the sunset. It is distinctly different from Emily’s sangria recipe, which is ridiculous and includes three kinds of liquor. I remember watching her make it and commenting that the night would be a disaster. I also remember waking up on my balcony several hours later, wondering when everyone went home.
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