Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sangria: Eat Fruit, Get Drunk.

Sangria is  great drink, and it's easy to improvise a nutritious, home-made batch.

Take a bottle of good wine (I prefer red) and add some brandy. The more brandy, the more "punch" it will have (Brandy is distilled wine. They boil wine to get rid of water content, leaving more alcohol and more flavor in the pot. Actually, you could try making brandy at home, but be careful--if you get too rambunctious boiling this stuff, you could end up calling 911 to fight the fireball consuming your kitchen). I recommend a good store-bought brandy like cognac.

Next, add some sugar and/or molasses until you like the taste.Then, add a handful or two of fruit chunks or slices of citrus fruit, apples to make "applejack," strawberries or whatever. Let it chill in the frig for a couple hours to let the flavors meld, then serve over ice or mix with soda.

I find that you can get a very good sangria ready-made in a bottle. Although it's a traditionally Spanish/Portuguese drink, try the Australian brand, [yellow tail]. Just look for the kangaroo on the label. You might even find this in a convenience store.

As for me, I would not dilute it by mixing. I prefer it straight, a lesson I learned forever from my mother, Doris, at a restaurant in her old age.

I watched her using a spoon to scoop out the ice from the glass of water the waitress had served her. She placed each ice cube in a plate nearby.

"Ma," I said, "What are you doing?"

"I don't want ice," she answered irritably.

"What's wrong with the ice?"

"It dilutes the drink," she said.

"Ma...," I started to say....

But I never finished my sentence because--how could I explain to her that water doesn't dilute water? She was right, in principle. With the single exception of water in this case, water dilutes everything.

Gotta give her credit for the principle.

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