Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's too Hot to Cook: White Wine Sangrias

I can't believe I haven't posted in nearly a month! Don't worry, I haven't been starving. The East Coast has been hit with a few heat waves in the last month, and once the temperature soars over 90 I have no desire too cook. Actually, that's a lie. I probably won't cook at 85 degrees either. There's nothing worse than cooking with a gas stove when your apartment is muggier than South Florida (central a.c. has yet to reach the Puritans).

So I've been eating a lot of gazpacho. And by a lot, I mean everyday.

I tend to crave Spanish foods in the summer. Since last week was our Nation's Birthday, I hosted a 4th of July Fiesta in my apartment, serving up chips and guacamole, spicy gazpacho, and white wine sangrias.

I think I've only had sangrias in Spanish restauants, and never any with white wine. Since I had a few bottles of white wine in the fridge and a surplus of citrus, I decided to make white.

I searched online for recipes, but didn't like what I found. Most involved too much preparation or things I won't buy. I finally found a suitable recipe in my "Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook:

2 lemons
2 limes
2 oranges
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 750 milliliters of dry white wine
1-2 cups carbonated water
2 tablespoons brandy
ice cubes


1. Cut fruit into ¼ inch thick slices. Place the end pieces in a saucepan and set aside remaining slices.

2. For syrup, add sugar and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.

3. Squeeze juice from cooked fruit into the juice and discard.

4. In a pitcher combine juice, remaining fruit, wine, carbonated water, and brandy.

5. Serve over ice.

Makes 10 4 ounce servings

Chef's notes:
1. Make a double batch so you don't have to go through the hassle of making the syrup.

2. Let it cool in the fridge a half hour before serving.

3. It still tastes fine if you omit the brandy.

4. Cheap wine works fine. Mine came from Best Sellers and cost about $9 each.

It turned out really well. The only ingredient I actually had to buy was the Brandy since I rarely have hard liquor in the house. Because the recipe only needed a tiny bit, I bought a nip of brandy and it worked perfectly.

I should note that the sangria has a shelf life of a few hours. It is absolutely vile the next day.

Pictures to follow soon!

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