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Author Notes: Not that I want to castigate my friends as being complete alcoholics, but one of our first parties in the new home resulted in 37 bottles of wine set out for recycling the next day. OMG. Talk about broke (and embarassed)! And that was to accompany chili! Still, unless it's tap water, having an festive beverage to accompany the offerings can be pricey. Anyways, fast forward to last night. We took my niece out to dinner at a fabulous Peruvian restaurant in Port Chester, New York and one of the major hits was a pitcher of Sangria. YOWZA!! Delicious and fun and who would know it was so cost-effective? I have a general idea what they did, and this is a very forgiving version, amenable to any and all substitutions to keep it budget-friendly. To put this together, I purchased a bottle of Venta Morales Tempranillo on sale for $7.99. I had brandy in the cupboard, but vodka works great. I also had some sake in the fridge; feel free to use white wine or vermouth. Instead of Cointreau, I used a house brand of triple sec TOTALLY CHEAP. Peaches are just arriving on the market now, very reasonable; apples are a MUST, and if able please use howtocookabear's blood orange syrup (http://www.food52.com/recipes/search?recipe_search=bloodhound&commit=Go) which you can also make with half red grapefruit juice and half orange juice if blood oranges are not on sale or too expensive. If not, just add a half-cup orange juice and adjust the sweetness later. The sweetness depends on you: I stretched it by using one 12-ounce can of club soda but Seven-Up could work if you are serving young 20-somethings. One suggestion was to freeze a bunch of grapes and use them instead of ice cubes, but do whatever is cheapest! Cheers!
Makes 1 big pitcher, easily doubled or tripled
half of howtocookabears blood-orange syrup (also found at http://www.food52.com/recipes/9333_bloodhound)
- 1 cup blood-orange juice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 5 green cardamom pods, crushed
- juice of a half-lime
- 1/2 cup blood-orange syrup
- 1 cup sake or other white wine
- 750 ml bottle Rioja or other Spanish red wine
- 2 tablespoons triple sec
- 1/4 cup brandy or vodka
- 1 orange, half sliced into half-moons, the other half squeezed into the sangria
- 1 sweet apple (not like Granny Smith), cut into cubes
- 1 peach, cut into cubes
- 1/2 lemon, cut in half and sliced into half-moons
- 12 ounces club soda, chilled (or citrus soda like 7-Up if you want it sweeter)
- Combine ingredients for blood-orange syrup in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes or unti reduced by half. Let cool and strain into a jug or a bowl.
- Pour syrup into a big, beautiful pitcher. Add remaining ingredients except for club soda and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Add a tray full of ice cubes (or frozen grapes) and finish with seltzer or citrus soda. Cheers!