I have not been cooking much in the last few days as I've either been shopping or hanging out at the pool. Either way, we hung out where there was refuge from the appalling heat. The air conditioning in the house has also stopped working (they are almost a decade old - I was told) and after a horrible Thursday night spent tossing and turning (our only electric fan was hogged by the Teenager), I drove out to Media World and bought 2 electric fans. Along the way I passed by Armani, Zara, Bershka, Extè etc and bought more clothes and shoes.
Last night we went to Ristorante Chacarero in Modena centro for tacos and Argentinian beef. And also had a litre of their Sangria. It was refreshing and quite good, though as Hub said, we've tasted better when we were living in Andalusia. My favourite was the one served in a bar in Sevilla where we used to go to to catch their flamenco performances. It's also from them that I've learnt to add spices to my Sangria.
Actually my preparation for the cocktail changes more or less each time I make it. It depends on my humeur and whatever I have available at the moment. It also depends on whether I should be part of the sangria is best prepared-fresh or left-to-macerate-beforehand school of thought. One thing for sure is that you'll need a bottle of red wine (not too fine e.g. Rioja, Beaujolais, Chianti, Bardolino...or Lambrusco if you want it fizzy) or white wine, even Cava - if you prefer a Zurra (sangria with peaches and nectarines) or Sangria Blanca.
Then you'll need the fresh fruit e.g. orange, lemon, apple, melon, peach, mandarin orange, but make sure that they are fruits that can take some maceration. I sometimes prepare the sangria a day or a few hours in advance, but would add in the sugar/syrup and strong alcohol at the last minute so that the fruit would not ferment in the sugar and alcohol (unless you're making rumtopf). Or if my bottle of wine is quite good, I would put everything together just 30 minutes to an hour before serving so that the wine wouldn't lose its qualities.
Another ingredient could also be fruit juice e.g. orange, lemon and/or apple juice or something fizzy like fanta orange. I've drunk all kinds of Sangria living and travelling in Spain and beyond, I am very sure that there is no one recipe for the cocktail.
Bon Vivant blogged about her Summer Sangria and that was like a sign from above for me. Move your butt and make a Sangria now! I've not made one since we started living in Modena. Over here we have a Moscato d'Asti or a sweet Lambrusco when we wanted something light, fizzy and sweet before we start a meal. And when you've lost the habit to nurse a glass and eat a few tapas at the same time, you may forget your Sangria.
I've revisited my Sangria for lunch and Hub was delighted. The Teenager managed to taste some of it too and said that he couldn't wait to be 18 to start drinking it by the litre. Yeah...
The apples have not been macerated - yet
The Syrup :
4 Tbsp Sugar
1 cup hot Water
1 Cinnamon bark
1 whole Clove
1 small piece of fresh Ginger (julienned)
The Fruit :
1 Apple (sliced)
1 Lemon (sliced into rounds)
1 Orange (sliced into rounds or cubes)
The Wine :
1 bottle of Red Wine
The Liqueur and/or Spirit :
1/3 cup white Rum
1/3 cup Porto
1/3 cup Grand Marnier
1/3 cup Cognac
The Fruit Juice :
Juice of 1 large Lemon
Juice of 2 large Oranges
1-2 cups Apple juice
Final Touch :
Fresh Mint leaves (optional)
1-2 cups Fanta Orange (optional)
Prepare the spiced syrup and set it aside.
Add the sliced fruit to the red wine. Pour in the fruit juices. Chill for an hour or much more (e.g. overnight).
At least 30 minutes before serving, add the spiced syrup and liqueurs. Add in the mint leaves if using them. Stir to mix well. Continue to chill.
Just before serving, mix in the cold soda for extra fizz (if using it). I usually serve my sangria in large salad bowls and use a ladle to scoop the cocktail out into individual glasses.