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Pitcher perfect: glass of Spanish Sangria

Those slothful Sunday mornings seem magically transformed after you’ve knocked back a glass or several of Spanish sangria. Olé!

india Updated: Nov 06, 2011 12:25 IST

If it’s a sunday, it must be sangria. This wine cooler seems tailormade for lazy afternoons and brunches, made in large pitchers, with chunks of fruit floating about. “Sangria is a perfect Sunday drink,” says Ketan Thakkar, beverage manager, Olive Bar and Kitchen. “It can be served either at room temperature or chilled.”

According to mixologist Shatbhi Basu, sangria is the perfect choice when you want to relax with a drink, but not drink too much. “It transforms itself into a huge variety of styles,” she says. “Earlier, traditional sangria made with red wine was popular, but I have created sangrias with white and rosé wine, as well as different kinds of fruit sangrias.”

While it’s easy to order at a restaurant, making sangria at home can be tricky. Says Thakkar, “Sangria is a cool and slightly intoxicating cocktail, a mélange of fruits and wine with your own creative additions and improvisations. But a sangria is good only if the proportions of the ingredients are well balanced.” And finding those correct proportions is not easy to do.

Thakkar’s advice: “Add only a very minimal quantity of spirit or else the sangria will be high in alcoholic content, which would spoil the taste.”

To take the guesswork out of it, here are some recipes.

SangriaPinay Vino Blanco

Ingredients:

• 70 ml white wine

• 25 ml tequila

• 90 ml pineapple juice

• Slices of pineapple and lime

Glassware: AP wine glass

Method: Mix all the ingredients

together. Place in the refrigerator

till it is ice-cold and ready to serve.

Sangre de Dragones
Ingredients:
• 70 ml red wine
• 25 ml vodka
• 90 ml cranberry juice
• Cinnamon
• Lime and orange slices
Glassware: AP wine glass
Method: Take out the pips of the limes and oranges when cutting them into slices. Combine all ingredients and chill before serving.

Sangría de Arándano

SangriaIngredients:

• 70 ml rose wine

• 60 ml apple juice

• 40 ml cranberry juice

• 15 ml vodka

• Chopped apples

Glassware: AP wine glass

Method: Add all the liquid ingredients and stir to combine. Add the chopped apples just before serving.

Sangria de Casa
Ingredients:
• 60 ml red wine
• 70 ml port wine
• 15 ml vodka
• 40 ml grape juice
• Chopped apples
Glassware: AP wine glass
Method: Add all the liquid ingredients in a glass and stir to combine. Add the chopped apples just before serving.

SangriaSangria de Clara

Ingredients:

• 70 ml sparkling wine

• 5 ml dark rum

• 40 ml watermelon juice

• 70 ml apple juice

• Chopped melons and apples

Glassware: AP wine glass

Method: Add all liquid ingredients together and stir to combine. Add the chopped melons and refrigerate. Add the chopped apples just before serving.

Best...
...time to have: At any time you want it. It’s great just before or during a Sunday brunch, great on a lazy afternoon when conversation is languid at best, great in the evening when the sun is going down and the night, with its sparkling city lights, beckons.
...eaten with: Sangria is best had as an aperitif, before a meal. Any kind of meal will do, but Spanish-style tapas makes good sense.
...music to listen to: Since sangria originated in Spain, it makes sense to play something Latina, like flamenco or salsa, while you sip the drink
...company: Crowds of friends and family. Sangria is typically served in pitchers which means it’s meant to be shared.
...followed by: Wine. Sangria is a wine cooler, so avoid the tragic after-effects of mixing your drinks by sticking to wine after your sangria, rather than any other kind of alcohol.

This story is from the latest edition of the Brunch Quarterly

From HT Brunch, November 6

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