I am, to a fault, a wine purest and don’t add anything to my wine, no ice, no sugar no fruit and certainly (not since my Fraternity days) don’t pour two wines in the same glass. The days of pouring a gallon of Gallo Hearty Burgundy, a pint of Hawaiian Punch concentrate, four (each) Seven-up and Ginger ale into a wash tub with a block of ice (dry Ice if it was Halloween) , sliced fruit and lord knows how many pints of what-ever hard liquor anybody brought to the party have long since passed. I am sure this (or something similar) went by many names, but for those that don’t know it by another name, back in the day this concoction was known in my circles as a “Hairy Buffalo” , because the next morning your mouth tasted like you had eaten a buffalo, hide and all. Ah, those were the days. Right, not so much from my current perch.
Well it is summer, and heat is upon us so somehow warm red wine may not fill the bill. We always have a nice Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis, or Chenin Blanc chilled to perfection (37 to 40 degrees F). But wait, how about a nice bottle of Sangria (over my dead body) that nobody really know what it contains. If we want to do Sangria, let do it right just like the Spanish did. I happen to have a recipe handed down through generations of my family ( say what! Minto’s Scottish). Somehow a Spaniard must have slipped in. In any case this is a recipe for authentic (unadulterated) Sangria. Before I actually get to the recipe, I need to clarify that it calls for a Rioja, but getting a nice Rioja in the USA at a price you would waste on creating Sangria is not easy so I substitute any cheap red wine (sometimes white – Anything but Chardonnay – if I have fresh berries or peaches). If you pay more that $6.00 you have gone to up scale.
Now for the Recipe:
Make a simple syrup:
Boil 2 cusp water
Add 2 cups bakers sugar (fine but not powdered)
Stir until melted and pour half into two quart mason jars.
Make it into Sangria Syrup:
Cut one large Orange, Lemon and Lime and add half to each jar.
Let the liquid cool to room Temp and put them in the Frig.
Create the Sangria:
fill a Kool-aide style (glass) pitcher half full of ice cubes, add 3/4 cup of the simple syrup, add a half dozen of the citrus slices from the jars, and fresh fruit (apples, peaches, pears, oranges, berries, etc.) to the pitcher. Pour in a single bottle of wine (red or dry white). Chill until ready to serve.
Fill 12 to 16 oz. tumblers, with ices and some fruit pieces from the pitcher and then fill with Sangria mixture. it is ready to drink – Enjoy.
Some like to add a couple of shots of brandy or dark rum to the mixture, but I am a purist and drink mine just as the Spaniards have for centuries.
The Simple Syrup will keep in the Frig for the whole summer, though it seldom makes it.
Also I have been known to make a batch without the ice and fruit, have a glass and pour the rest back in the wine bottle, cap it, refrigerate it and drink it over a period of days (up to a week) by just pouring it in a wine glass with or without ice and fruit( no frills).
I really like using a Cab as my base, but a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, or while blend really work well. If you want it fruity, try it with the Zinfandel.
If you substitute a garnish bag filled with equal parts, whole clove, allspice, broken cinnamon sticks (add star anise if your brave) for all the citrus but the Orange, the syrup makes a great base for hot mulled wine. Simply omit the ice part, heat the wine, pour into mugs with an unbroken Cinnamon stick and you have a nice mulled wine to take the chill off winter evenings.