Friday, September 10, 2010

2010 Challenge: Damn Fine Sangria

Football season is back. Les Miles is making a stupid decision, the Saints are still undefeated in 2010, and the lights from Tad Gormley burn bright into Friday night. Which can only mean one thing: it is time to get serious about group drinking.

With punches, pitchers of Bloody Mary's, and buckets of gin at the ready, fall is the time for people to gather around a tailgate or television, sip something potent, and curse at Les Miles. Repeated visits to Barcelona Tapas have made it clear Xavier Laurentino makes a mean Sangria. With this in the back of my mind, I set out to make some Sangria. The Sangria turned out great, it even quelled my anger at the Mad Hatter for a brief nanosecond. Who am I kidding, that is a lie.

That's a DAMN Fine, Sangria

You are going to need some fruits, some 7Up, something in or related to the brandy family, and a wine.

Here is what I did. Now "traditionally", Sangria is made with Spanish red wine. But "traditionally" LSU is a well-coached NCAA football powerhouse. Since we aren't really respecting that anymore in Baton Moulin Rouge, what is the harm in monkeying around with Sangria? I used a high acid, crisp French white wine made of Ugni Blanc, the grape for Cognac. As you remember learning in third grade, all Cognacs are brandies but not all brandies are Cognacs.

For the next act of this booze opera, I went with Grand Marnier. Why? It is what was in the cabinet and the bracing, orange hued elixir went well with the 7up and fruits. About those fruits, apple (peeled, cored, and diced), peach (diced), orange (cut into small wedges), and mango (peeled and diced). All the different textures and flavors of the fruit give you at the end of your sangria an alcoholic fruit salad. Which is important should there be screaming children around.

Pitch your fruit into your vessel of choice. A pitcher or football helmet will work. To this add the entire bottle of wine and 1/2 cup of the Grand Marnier (or brandy) and a tablespoon of sugar. Stir to combine, place in fridge, and let this marinate for an hour or so. The longer it sits the more the fruit soaks up the booze and leeches out its fruit flavor.

To serve, pour into a glass, and top with a generous pour of 7up. Or you can just dump about half of the 2 liter (so .5 of a 2 liter) into the pitcher and let it all cool together. But I like adding the 7Up on top. It gives the drink a jolt of fizziness which helps to enhance the refreshing qualities of Sangria.

Feel free to mess around with this recipe, or offer corrections. The point is at some point between now and Thanksgiving, you will find yourself staring down a nearly depleted bar at a tailgate or house party. Behind you throngs of football fans are dying for a cold refreshing drink. There is only a few seconds left to make a decision. You will look around see a magnum of Yellow Tail, some hard alcohol, a few wayward limes and orange peels, and margarita mix. What do you do? Making a drink just for yourself would be like motioning to your QB to snapping the ball with one second left and spike it.

Instead, I suggest you do more with Les.


RBPoBoy said...

Anyone heading to Paris? I recommend:

Had many a fun night there...

RBPoBoy said...

Well, the link didn't post.

Go to Paris' oldest, funkiest, Sangria bar: Bar 10 (Bar Dix)

Make sure you go down into the basement.

amanda said...

not really much of a sangria drinker but Oh MY EFFING GOD this post is HILARIOUS. after reading the first paragraph i immediately had to send it as quote off to on of my best friends then i came back and read the rest. AND it got even funnier. :-)