Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Salud!


You didn’t think I’d let Cinco de Mayo (and my birthday, ahem!) go by without a cocktail to celebrate with, did you? 

Some years ago, my mom and I would take advantage of our every other Friday off and do things together. Activities often included wine-tasting and wine-drinking. Plenty of people thought this was a bit odd because they couldn’t imagine doing these things with their mothers, but since my mom could out-party me any day of the week and likes Sublime and Mary J. Blige, it kind of goes with the territory. And (sorry, Mom), she’s not young enough where she should know any of those singers. Don’t tell her I told you, but she’s about to hit the big 6-0. Shhh… (Andy warned me I’d pay for that when he proof-read this.)

On one of those glorious days off, we became obsessed with finding the perfect sangria. We tried many different recipes, but none were just right. We were the Goldilocks of sangria…one was too sweet, one was too weak, one had too much fruit. I like fruit as much as the next guy, but I don’t want to eat my sangria. Over several weeks, we systematically tried recipe after recipe, enjoying the sun and our very important “research.” Eventually, it became clear that we needed to take matters into our own hands and make our own. I suppose we could have come to that conclusion sooner if we hadn’t been so committed to drinking the rejects. What? They weren’t that bad.


The concoction that we ended up with is my favorite sangria recipe ever. I know that’s a bold statement, but I’ve tried many and always come back to this one. Maybe I am a teeny bit biased, but I think you’ll like it a whole lot.


Sangria

1.5 liters red wine (I use Carlo Rossi Sangria)
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or another mild white)
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup triple sec
slices of limes, lemons, oranges (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice.

(Note: I only had 1/4 cup of triple sec for this batch, so I threw in a 1/4 cup of limoncello to make up for it. Winner!)


Could that be any easier? This is my go-to drink for large parties. It’s simple, fairly inexpensive, and can be made for the masses ahead of time. Using the pre-made sangria gives you a head start on flavor, with the other additions giving it even more of a kick. A warning: this is a dangerous drink…before you know it you’ve knocked back four or five (okay, or six) in the span of an hour and are waking up wondering where the party went. Not that I know from experience.


Another thing I may or may not know from experience: don’t buy two four-liter jugs of Carlo Rossi Sangria, put them in the back of your new SUV, then take a corner a little faster than you intended. The result will always be that these rather thin glass jugs will burst on contact with each other and you will be stopped on the side of the road verging on tears, while your sister tries to downplay the situation, watching red liquid pour out the back of your car. And even if you take it to the car wash immediately, on warm days you will still smell that stench of hot wine. Just a little friendly advice…


For a perfect dish to serve with your sangria, check out my Spicy Chicken Tostaditos with Creamy Cilantro Drizzle.


And don't forget Mom...need a Mother's Day brunch recipe idea? Check out my recipe on Associated Content from Yahoo! for Individual Roasted Asparagus, Garlic and Two Cheese Bread Puddings. These savory bread puddings are a perfect addition to your brunch menu since they can be prepared ahead of time and popped in the oven just before your guests arrive. That way you can enjoy the mimosas, too!

43 comments:

  1. that sangria sounds wonderful! as well as the tostaditos! I will be throwing a party just for an excuse to make this sangria, thank you for posting!

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  2. Wow! Karen! If I could grab it off the screen, I would! Looks so wonderful! Beautiful photos!

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  3. This sangria is indeed easy to prepare it would be nice to serve this coming Sunday gathering

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  4. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo! (or any other day!) :D

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  5. These are just BEEEEAUUUUTIFUL! Love that you and your mom have that much fun together....my mom is fun like that too.....(I guess that's why you and I are so awesome) LOL ;)

    Your recipe looks perfect and I actually prefer a white wine sangria! LOVELY!!!! It's 9AM here and I want one now! But I'l wait... HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO AND BIRTHDAY!

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  6. You seriously had all that wine dump in the back of the car? Big ole' ouch! I'm so sorry about that.

    However, thank you SO much for the absolutely perfect sangria. I think the addition of the limoncello is what puts it over the edge for me. I'm glad you didn't have enough triple sec!

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  7. I would have balled my eyes out. Your sister is a trooper. Bless. But, now you know! Plastic jugs all the way. Happy, happy birthday! It's my mom's as well and she's currently on the beach in Mexico having her own sangria - albeit less good than yours I'm sure. Have a great day and thanks for sharing!

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  8. Happy Birthday! Sorry about your car, and man do these recipes look good!! Thanks for sharing :)

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  9. Happy Birthday Karen! I am crazy about sangria and I have never made it yet, but that is about to change; great recipe.
    Rita

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  10. Happy Birthday Karen! I love sangria. It has kind of become like my go-to drink in the summer. I made sangria for the first time last year. I've got to try your now! Have a great day!

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  11. Happy Birthday! These look like a great drink for today! I am a big fan of Sangria. This will be hitting the table this summer for sure!

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  12. Happy Birthday Karen, wishing you many more sangrias to come!

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  13. Happy Birthday :) The Sangrias look just too amazingly pretty !!

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  14. 60???? I beg your pardon. I'm only 59 & 5 months.
    Happy birthday baby!
    Love you,
    Mom

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  15. The sangria looks gorgeous! Love the colour and the fruity look :)! Happy Birthday by the way :)!

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  16. ♫♪♪♫ happy birthday Karen♫♪♪♫, happy birthday dear Karen....♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪*•♫♪♪♫ happy birthday to you ... sending you.♥¸♥¸♥¸ ok by singing the birthday song, will that merit me a glass of your sangria now? and oh yeah the tostaditos too haha.. have fun!

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  17. That looks like the perfect birthday celebration drink! Hope yours is a great one. Cheers!

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  18. Cocktail looks good. Wish I had one now.

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  19. Delicious and gorgeous! Now I just need it to be a little warmer out, and I can sit on my patio and drink sangria. Happy Birthday! :)

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  20. Beautiful photos of the Sangria. I am planning a large party next weekend for my husband's work group and was thinking of doing a drink. This is it. I'm going to bookmark it and complete my menu! Thank you!

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  21. That sangria is calling my name, as are the tostaditos! Perfect for any celebration. :) Happy Birthday!!!!!

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  22. Happy Birthday Karen! I hope you had a wonderful day. Your photos of Sangria is amazing. It's so hard for me to take pictures of liquids and yours are just so perfect! Looks so delicious I wish I have one with me right now!

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  23. This looks like a fantastic sangria recipe and perfect for me because it doesn't have any added sugar. I am saving to my faves!

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  24. Happy Birthday Karen! Your Sangria looks delicious! Are those kumquats in your pics? Yum!!

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  25. Feliz cumpleanos! Y feliz cindo de mayo! My fiance's mom is somewhat the partier as well, so I can relate to the drinking with the parental figure. But it is kind of nice to have a different relationship. After all, you are adult. You, hopefully, don't need mothering anymore anyways. These drinks looks super delicious. Especially on a hot day!

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  26. These look so good! I can't wait to give them a try! Thanks for sharing! Your pictures are gorgeous!

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  27. Thanks for visiting my site, hope you come back! And I will be bookmarking this Sangria recipe! My husband and I both are big Sangria fans!!

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  28. What a beautiful drink! Happy Birthday one day late!

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  29. Beautiful photos, I love your blog and Happy Birthday;-)

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  30. flavorful n delicious...happy b day dear...hope you have a wonderful time..:)
    Tasty Appetite

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  31. My mom and I drink lots of wine together and her favorite bands are Rage Against the Machine and Led Zeppelin. She'd also kill me if she knew I just told everyone that. Your sangria looks perfect and your pictures are gorgeous!!

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  32. Your photography is tantalizing! Such a beautiful sangria. Besos from New York

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  33. Looking forward to giving this a try this summer.

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  34. I'm so glad you did all this tough research for us ;) It looks like you created a winner...yum!

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  35. Hey Karen,

    Happy birthday and your sangria looks really beautiful. We had some at a restaurant few nights ago and it didn't even look anywhere close to yours. Thanks for the invite at foodbuzz! :)

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  36. Your photos are extremely good. Makes one really want to extend the hand and take it out of the monitor :))))!

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  37. I'm glad you kept at it. Finding the perfect drink recipe makes for so much fun!

    Jason

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  38. Was just trying to figure out if I could add triple sec to my sangria and you tell me you also added limoncello... I am in heaven. :) Thanks!

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  39. So much alcohol, so good. Thanks for a great recipe!

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  40. How many does the original recipe serve?

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    Replies
    1. @Leanne - This recipes makes about 8-1/2 cups, which serves about 10-12 people, depending on the size of the glass. - See more at: http://www.tasty-trials.com/2011/05/salud.html?showComment=1374593981975#c5217040528170444171

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