RED WINE SANGRIA WITH BRANDY
(This recipe is part of “A Tapas Experience.”)
Reward Yourself for Accomplishments in Life
I believe in rewarding yourself for accomplishments in life. It provides you with incentives to press on to the finish line. It encourages you to discard the desire to quit in the middle of the struggle. To be sure, life does have its struggles, but the thrill of victory and the exhilaration that comes from winning is well worth the battle.
Trials and Triumphs
It is amazing, as human beings, we long for a good challenge that tests our fortitude and demands from us perseverance. We, for the most part, will take on a good fight. Why is it some brave souls scale Mount Everest or others compete in an Ironman triathlon? They must LOVE the quest. Life never promised to be handed to us on a “silver platter.” I don’t believe any of us really, deep down want that anyway. Why? The hardships are what make the triumphs so gratifying. Without the trials, we would never fully appreciate the achievements.
Struggles on the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is a 500-mile pilgrimage across northern Spain. My friend Rebecca and I hiked this trek in the Fall of 2015 which brought with it a multitude of struggles every day. Rebecca, who I must say is my hero, daily contended with blisters throughout the entire journey. She even named a set of her blisters Jack and Jill which emerged after we spent an entire day going up and down hills.
The aches and pains, found in muscles I didn’t even know I had, wailed in distress for the first two weeks. Weary pilgrims dealt with miserable bed bug bites. Fatigue and exhaustion were our constant companions. I averaged 15 miles a day on foot while conquering rough terrain, navigating through dark forests, vanquishing mountains and descending their valleys. But every single morning, without fail, I woke with a new vigor for a promising adventure that would ultimately not disappoint.
Red Wine Sangria – the Refreshing Reward
My reward every evening when I reached my destination, don’t laugh or judge was a tall glass of Red Wine Sangria with a shot (or two) of brandy. I sat my weary bones down at some little bar, lifted my throbbing feet up in the chair opposite me and refreshed my depleted body with a lovely, fruit of the vine drink. Life was good! I had done it, made it one more leg of the journey and found my soul fulfilled and satisfied for one more day.
Wine in Spain is Inexpensive
You would be astonished by how inexpensive the wine is in Spain. A glass will cost you somewhere under three Euros which would be just a little over $3 in the US. Compare that to $8 to $12 a glass when I sit down in most restaurants back here at home. It is no wonder the price is affordable. You would not believe the endless vineyards that we walked alongside during the Camino. I had never in my life seen such succulent grapes. As far as the eye could see, there were rich clusters that hung heavy upon the vines throughout the Rioja wine region. The delicious, abundant wine that flows from this area is some of the best out of Spain. When you are looking for a good Spanish wine, make sure and check out some from this region.
Many Sangria Recipes to Choose From Online
I would have to say; I think I have one of the best Red Wine Sangria recipes around, at least in my little world anyway. I first got my hands on a basic but fabulous sangria recipe from a friend a few years back. Over time I have tweaked and added to it a bit for my preference.
There is a multitude of fantastic sangria recipes to pull from: peach with white wine, raspberry/mango, watermelon, triple berry, and the list goes on and on. Depending on whether you like red or white wine, there are plenty of variations for creating the perfect drink for you and your guests. This recipe calls for a full-bodied red wine with highlights of fresh-squeezed orange and lemon juice. Fresh fruit added to the glass is, in my opinion, what makes the presentation so appealing. And of course, the supreme delight of the drink is the wine saturated fruit you get to eat when the glass is empty.
A Pitcher of Red Wine Sangria
It is beneficial to plan your Tapas party where bartending does not entangle you all evening. In this way, you can be fully engaged with your guests and enjoy the event as much as anyone else. That is where sangria comes in handy. A pitcher or two can be made a day ahead of time. It is much better that way as all the ingredients marinate together and create a more tasty sangria. Right before your guests arrive, you can add the ginger ale, put ice and fresh fruit in the glasses. All you have to do at that point is pour it from the pitcher. It is best to use large wide-rim glasses since the fruit takes up so much space. Sangria is the perfect refreshing drink to hand to your guests as soon as they walk through the door. Let them settle in and relax with the drink in hand as you get the party started.
View the full “Tapas Experience” here.
According to this site:
- Spanish wine was the Romans’ “favourite tipple” – Wine has been produced in Spain since the first century AD. The Roman historian Pliny the Elder raved about wines made from the area known today as Alella, which is 20 minutes from Barcelona. Another Roman, Ovid, noted the most popular wine in Rome (from Spain of course) known as Saguntum, was only good for getting your mistress drunk.
- Pablo Picasso’s inspiration for the cubism movement came from his time in a town that was a two and a half hour drive south of Barcelona and near the Catalan border town of Tortosa. Picasso spent time there while he was splitting his time between Barcelona and Paris beginning in 1901. In fact, in many of Picasso’s paintings, you can see the elements of the people from the towns, and also the vineyards where he sometimes slept in at night under the stars. Wine is also directly viewed in many of his works, including Bottle and Wine Glass on a Table from 1912.
- The Franco dictatorship was a dark time for wine production, exporting wine was not allowed. Franco was a teetotaller. He believed that wine was only for church sacraments. Still, when he discovered that US President Eisenhower was a fan of sparkling wines, special cava was commissioned by Franco for his visit to Spain in December of 1959. Some of the original bottles from the commission are on display at the winery.
Red Wine Sangria
A refreshing Spanish drink that includes red wine, Brandy, and orange liqueur. The wine saturated fruit you get to eat when the glass is empty is the best part of this drink.
- 1 bottle of dry red wine – Merlot is a good choice
- 6 oz of brandy
- 6 oz orange liqueur
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 lemons, quartered
- 4 oranges, quartered
- 2 cups ginger ale, chilled
- Combine wine, brandy, orange liqueur and sugar in a pitcher. Squeeze the lemons and oranges into the wine and add the rinds.
- Let set over night.
- When ready to serve, add chilled ginger ale.