Monday, 25 June 2012

How do you solve a problem like Sangria?...

I'd like to say a word in its behalf
Sangria makes me laugh...

How do you solve a problem like Sangria?
Where do you catch a glass and swill it down?
How do you find a word that means Sangria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

...... Easy, its the European way to get hammered. When you can prise yourself away from the golden sands, tanned torsos and a summertime of "Tudo azul", its time to get yourself to the well-established Sunshine Bar on the Ilha de Tavira.Here in the sunshine a jug of sangria is always delivered with a smile.You need to take a ferry from Tavira town or Quatra Aguas to get there, but once there it is the place to be. Run and owned by Alice, Annie and Sergio you will get a great Portuguese/Irish welcome.I don't care how you get there, but just -- get there if - you can. Their recipe for Sangria is a closely guarded secret so dont expect them to part with It!!! However here is a  recipe for Portuguese Sangria that should sort you out good and proper.

A good old Portuguese beach Sangria

1 bottle good, light-bodied Portuguese red wine
2 cups white rum
1 litre 7-up, sprite, or home made lemonade
2 Oranges, Sliced in thin rounds
1 Lemon Sliced in thin rounds
1 small ripe pear, cut into thin slices
1 cinnamon quill
1 cup rasberry  syrup (cordial)
Ice cubes

1. Combine liquid ingredients, and cinnamon quill, and let it sit for at least 6 hours.
2. Pour sangria into pitchers, followed by ice cubes, then slices of fruit. let that sit another hour in the fridge, serve cold.

Sangria recipes normally have red wine, brandy, and fruit. However,
it can be made in just about any style you can imagine.
Sangria as a mixture did not spring from the ether in the 1960s -
or even in the 1800s.The idea of mixing wine, alcohol, and fruit has been
around for centuries. For top notch European parties this concoction
was the centre piece - a big bowl full of fruit and wine that people
would ladel into cups or glasses.
The beauty of sangria is that you can make your sangria recipe
to your own taste,from spicy to mild to rich to bubbly. You can make sangria
with red wine, white wine,and even sparkling wine.You can use oranges,
lemon, and citrus fruit to give freshness to a hot summers day or you can
create a dense blend of blueberries and blackberries to make a more    
full bodied concoction.
When in Spain do as the Spanish do and use cava.
While Spain has its Cava,Italy has Prosecco and France obviously,
has the champagne,it may be a surprise to some that in amongst
Portuguese wine selections, there is a choice of some more-than-acceptable
fizzy options.When in Portugal why not do as I do and use 
Quinta do Encontro sparkling brut or the not so cheap at the price Ninfa.
The choice is yours so feel free to use any one of these or any other
sparkling wine you enjoy. 

A fruity white summer sangria
4 small juicing oranges 
2  lemons
2 ripe paraguayos (white flesh peaches) 
1 nectarine 
2 ripe juicy red plums 
1/2 charentais cantaloupe or musk melon 
6 tablespoons muscovado sugar
1cinnamon stick 
Handful of mint leaves
2 bottles dry white wine (eg. Pinot Grigio) or Brut, Prosecco etc
750 ml sparkling water (half if using Brut) 
50 milliliters Gin or Vodka – optional 
depending on where you want to go with this!!!
ice cubes
Wash all the fruits and prepare them, putting them in a large bowl:   
Cut the oranges and lemons in slices. Remove stones from peaches and 
nectarine and cut in pieces, leaving the skin on.. Remove skin and seeds 
from melon and cut in pieces. Cut the flesh from the plums. 
Add the muscovado sugar, the cinnamon, the mint leaves, white wine 
and leave to macerate ½ hour.
Add the sparkling water, gin if using, ice cubes. 
Stir vigorously and transfer to serving jugs.

MIXING TIP:  White wine has little body, so a poor white wine is not good at all. 
Also, don’t use a sweet wine, it’s the fruit that should be the star of the show, 
not the sugar content of the Sangria - if using a sweet wine you’ll end up with 
a syrup rather than a summer drink.
Think of the difference  between a home made lemonade and shop bought.




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