The Hoppy Okapi

Occasional posts about hiking and other stuff

A Very San Diego Sangria: Strawberry and Blood Orange Black Muscat Sangria February 15, 2009

Strawberry Blood Orange Sangria

Strawberry Blood Orange Sangria

Along with my Sangria book drink through, one of the goals from my 101 Things list is to create a signature sangria of my own. A few weeks ago, San Diego enjoyed a mid-winter heat wave, and I went to the Little Italy Mercato in search of the perfect sangria ingredients. I came away with some of my favorite winter fruit – blood oranges – as well as some big, juicy strawberries grown in Oceanside.  Feeling very fortunate to have locally grown blood oranges and strawberries in January, I combined them with one of my new favorite wines – the Black Muscat from Filsinger Winery in Temecula – and added some Drambuie to round out the flavor.

Sangria Ingredients

Sangria Ingredients

This was a fun sangria to make, since I got to slice the strawberries with the egg slicer (we bought a heavy-duty one after I destroyed our original egg slicer with strawberries and mushrooms).

Slicing a Strawberry

Slicing a Strawberry

I also had fun zesting the orange with our microplane grater, but then I realized it was utterly silly to have done so, since I would have put the whole orange slices in the sangria anyway, and zesting it just created little gritty bits that made the sangria look cloudier. If you make this sangria, don’t zest the oranges!

zest!

zest!

slices of blood oranges - oh so pretty!

slices of blood oranges - oh so pretty!

combining the fruits

combining the fruits

fruit, drambuie, and wine

fruit, drambuie, and wine

This was a sangria I would definitely make again! The strawberries and rose wine make it good for warm weather drinking, or they can help you feel summery even in the middle of winter! Black muscat wine might be a bit tricky to find if you don’t have a convenient local source, but it’s well worth the challenge.

Sangria

Sangria

 

Sangria Drink-Through #5: Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Tangerine Sangria December 28, 2008

Filed under: 101Things,sangria,wine — Amanda @ 14:18
Tags: , , , ,

This winter fruit combo was our Christmas sangria, paired with baby back ribs in a coffee-barbecue sauce.

Persimmon, Pomegranite, Tangerine Sangria

Recipe: Persimmon, Pomegranite, Tangerine Sangria

It was the first time I’d ever had a persimmon, so that was the exotic part of this sangria – I got two Fuya persimmons, orange fruits that look like firm tomatoes with leafy tops.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Liberating the pomegranite seeds was the most time-consuming part of the sangria. Last time I had a pomegranate, I followed the recommendation from The Joy of Cooking to soak the pomegranate pieces in water and let the seeds separate from the skin and the little white connective pieces float to the top. This time, I just cut the fruit into sections and plucked out the seeds, and I think it was actually faster and less messy – only a few drops of scarlet juice found their way onto the floor!

Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranate Seeds

The recipe said that the persimmons should be peeled, seeded, and quartered; but when I cut my first persimmon open, I found that it had more of a core than a seed, and when I checked Joy of Cooking for more info I learned that Fuya persimmons don’t need to be peeled unless the peel is bitter-tasting, so I tasted my persimmon (mildly sweet, like a slightly astringent pear) and decided to just core and slice them before adding to the sangria.

Pomegranates, Tangerines and Persimmons

Pomegranates, Tangerines and Persimmons

I mixed the fruit together, trying to crush some of the pomegranate seeds so they added more flavor to the sangria, then added the Triple Sec (the recipe called for Mandarine Napoleon, which is apparently a Grand Marnier-like tangerine liquor, but I went with a more basic liquor) and the red wine, a very dry Spanish red that I found in the organic wine section at Trader Joe’s.

Fruit and Wine

Fruit and Wine

When it was time to serve, I added the sparkling water and piled each glass with tangerine slices and pomegranate seeds. This was a really good sangria, and paired well with our barbecue ribs. It was dark and dry, with the tangerine flavor coming through to add perfume, and combining with the pomegranates to bring a hint of sweetness to the drink.

sangria_finiI’m not sure if the persimmons added much flavor to the sangria – maybe my persimmons were poor examples of the fruit, or just not ripe enough, but I felt like the sangria would be just as good without them.

 

Sangria Drink-Through #4: Limonada Espana December 22, 2008

Lemons and Peaches

Lemons and Peaches

I’m trying to make the sangrias for my drink-through when the required fruits are in season, but sometimes it doesn’t quite work out. I wanted to make a sangria for my Christmas cookie baking party, but the seasonal sangrias that I hadn’t already tried (grapefruit sparkling, pomegranite/persimmon/tangerine) seemed a little too risky to make for the first time for a party. (Well, the grapefruit sangria seemed to risky, and I just didn’t feel like messing around with pomegranite seeds that weekend!) So instead I chose a semi-seasonal sangria instead – Limonada Espana.

Limonada Espana recipe

Limonada Espana recipe

I stocked up on fresh lemons – the recipe takes two lemons plus a half-cup of lemon juice! – but I had to settle for canned peaches from Trader Joe’s instead of fresh.

Sangria Ingredients

Sangria Ingredients

Since the peaches were preserved in white grape juice, I cut down a little bit on the added sugar. The featured liquor in this sangria is Liquor 43 (Cuarenta Y Tres), a Spanish vanilla flavored liquor with 43 ingredients in its top secret recipe.

Lemons, Peaches, sugar, Liquor 42, lemon juice

Lemons, Peaches, sugar, Liquor 43, lemon juice

Adding wine to the fruit

Adding wine to the fruit

Since we did our grocery shopping on the same morning as the party, this sangria had only about six hours for the flavors to meld before serving. it turned out well, but I think the lemon flavor overwhelmed the peaches, and I probably should have added the full amount of sugar because it was still pretty tart – I think Chuck added extra sugar to his.

The finished sangria

The finished sangria

Eating the wine-soaked peaches was fun, but I suspect that  fresh peaches would have lent more peachy flavor to the finished product. Overall, there are other red wine sangrias that I prefer over this one, but I’d be interested in trying this fruit combination with a citrusy white wine sometime in the summer.

 

Sangria Drink-Through #3: Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria December 6, 2008

Filed under: 101Things,sangria,wine — Amanda @ 19:11
Tags: , , , , ,

This fall-flavored sangria was originally intended to go with our Thanksgiving dinner, but we were cooking so much that day and refrigerator space was at a premium, so we waited until the Sunday after to make sangria. We were still eating Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner anyway, so it all worked out in the end.

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria recipe

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria recipe

This sangria features several layers of apple flavor: raw apple slices, apple brandy, and sparkling cider. We jumped on this oppurtunity to try an apple brandy, and purchaed one made by Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, OR. Trying the apple brandy was fun, and Clear Creek makes a lot of interesting “pure fruit spirits” that I want to try – especially the eau de vie of Douglas Fir!

ingredients

I sliced the apple the easy way, and tried to make my inelegant orange and lemon peels look pretty:

applezest

Adding the cinnamon to the non-wine ingredients made me feel like I was making an apple pie.

pre_wine

combined ingredients, pre-wine

I added the wine…

Drunken Apples

Drunken Apples

And then waited for a while! Just before dinner I added the apple cider and poured the sangria into our butterfly glasses:

Ready to Drink!

Ready to Drink!

I think the wine I used here was a little bit darker than what the book called for (or else the glasses in their pictures were just narrower and on a lighter background!), but the flavor of the sangria was good nonetheless. I think the darker wine stood up well to the sweetness added by the sparkling cider, and there was just a hint of cinamon in the finish. It’s the closest to a classic sangria that I’ve done so far in the drink through – classic with an apply twist. For warmer weather, I might lighten it up by chosing tarter apples and using half cider and half sparkling water, but this is a good treat for fall.

 

Sangria Drink-Through #2: Three-Berry Basil Rose November 11, 2008

Last Sunday was my Birthday-Observed, the weekend day when Chuck made a wonderful homemade birthday dinner (with cake!) for me and we opened presents and cards from each other. What could be better than a festive sangria to help celebrate the occasion?

I chose three-berry basil rose sangria to pair with our lamb chops and lemony cake, guessing that this would be light and a little tart, cutting through any heaviness in the meat, and playing well with the sour lemon flavors in the cake. I think it worked!

Three-Berry Basil Rose sangria recipe

Three-Berry Basil Rose sangria recipe

The exciting ingredient for this sangria was Drambuie, a liquor combining Scotch whisky, honey, and an ultra-secret combination of herbs and spices.  The recipe called for a half-cup each of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, which was conveniently accomplished by buying a bag of frozen mixed berries at Trader Joe’s. I think fresh berries would have been prettier, but the frozen ones worked well flavor-wise.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Like the  first sangria, the steps are pretty simple: combine fruit (and basil) in a pitcher, add liquors (Drambuie and Brandy), then add a bottle of wine (in this case, a dry Spanish rose); refrigerate for several hours, and add sparkling water just before serving.

fruit and basil mixture

fruit and basil mixture

fruit with Drambuie and brandy

fruit with Drambuie and brandy

fruit, liquors, and wine

fruit, liquors, and wine

I mixed up the sangria in the morning, and when I tasted it in the afternoon it was a little too tart, so I mixed up some honey-flavored simple syrup: one half-cup water, one half-cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar, and two tablespoons honey, brought to a boil and then simmered for about 5 minutes.

three-berry basil sangria

I felt like the basil flavor got a little lost in the sangria, but adding the sprig of basil as garnish really brought out the flavor. Adding about two teaspoons of the honey syrup also helped perk up the flavor. Overall, this was a nice, refreshing sangria – not as rich and luscious as the cherry-fig sanrgia, but something that would be welcome with a light meal any time of year – I think it would be an especially good brunch sangria.

 

 
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