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Tu Vez Culinary Academy: Sangria


Welcome to the Tu Vez Latino Culinary Academy! We are determined to teach Latino men how to feed themselves without having to go to a drive-through. Will it be an old family recipe? A delicious cocktail? A trade secret? Stay tuned to find out!

Yesterday was the official start of summer, and you can tell it’s going to be a hot one. In many parts of the country, it’s already thighs-sticking-to-leather-seats-hot. Nothing can cool you down on a hot day like a refreshing beverage. If that beverage has alcohol, even better. That way you both lower your body temperature and drown your sorrows. We Latinos have many fine beverages to quench our thirst, but one drink that comes from the O.G. motherland of Spain is particularly good in the summer: Sangria. Yes, it means blood, but it’s delicious and besides, vampires are really hot right now. Some of you might have had a gross premixed concoction from a bottle, but there is nothing like homemade. This one is an old family recipe that quenched the thirsts of this author’s family in both Cuba and Texas. If you make this at your next bar-b-q, your guests will kiss you on the mouth from gratitude.

Sangria

2 bottles red wine. We use Shiraz or pinot noir, but any kind will do. You can also make a white sangria with a pinot grigio or chardonnay. Don’t bother buying anything too expensive.

2 1/2 cups of sugar

1 cup of brandy or triple sec

1/2 gallon of limeade or lemonade

1 16oz bottle of Sprite

2 apples

2 oranges

1 mango

1 package of strawberries

half a pineapple, cut into cubes

1 lemon

1 lime

First you pour the wine into some kind of container. If you can find a glass or ceramic pitcher or one of those big jars with the spigot, all the better. Pour the brandy and 2 cups of the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then add the limeade. Now taste it. If it still tastes too winey, then add some more sugar to taste. Then cut up all of the fruit and put it in a large bowl and pour in the other half a cup of sugar. The sugar will bring out the juices in the fruit. In addition to the fruit we listed here, you can put in anything you like. Kiwis, blueberries, papaya, blood oranges, cherries, frozen grapes are all good in sangria. Peaches and nectarines go well in a white sangria. See what’s in season when you make it for optimum freshness. Here is where our recipe differs with others: we don’t mix the fruit and wine together until it is ready to serve. Many people put the fruit in and let it sit, but the problem with that is that the fruit then just soaks up the wine mixture and everything turns into a mushy purple mash. This way the fruit retains its flavor and color, but still has the time from when you serve it until you eat it to soak in a little of the wine. When you put out your pitcher of the sangria, put the bowl of fruit next to it and let your guests pick how much fruit they want. Now, be careful. Sangria is delicious and refreshing and it is very easy to get really drunk, really fast. Just make sure you are far enough away from the edge of the pool or that there is a lifeguard on duty when drinking. Tu Vez takes no responsibility.

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