Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sangria Recipe for the Holidays

For me holidays bring to mind family, food, drinks and fun (not necessarily in that order)! And in addition to cooking and baking, I truly enjoy discovering and creating libations for family and friends. Last year I made an awesome coquito and this year I decided to make a festive sangria.
I’d love to say I just created this cranberry sangria but actually I saw a post on facebook about holiday drinks and I based my recipe on the one I saw on the Cooking Stoned blog.

The base for sangria is wine and if you didn’t know, Walmart has a pretty good selection of wine and I have been known to make some purchases! Initially, I started the recipe with one bottle of Barefoot Pinot Grigio but quickly realized I needed more  wine. 

Although the recipe calls for one bottle, in reality that means one Massive bottle - to be clear, if you are making sangria you need at least TWO 750 mL bottle of wine. So, after cooking up my recipe and cutting up the fruit I had to make another run to the store. And this time, I picked up some Barefoot Moscato - which by the way I usually do not drink but is perfect for my recipe - and some Brandy (which of course you’ll have to purchase at a liquor store but is totally optional) on the suggestion of my friend. Thank you Lisa, the brandy was an excellent addition!

Just so you know, the recipe is really simple, takes just a few minutes to prepare and basically I think the most difficult part is waiting to let the fruit infuse before drinking it! To start, you make a simple syrup composed of white grape juice, wine, sugar and water. You let it boil and then add cranberries and cook until they pop - less than a minute.

Drain the syrup, add rosemary and let it sit. Next you pour the wine in a container, add apples and the cranberries and chill. For at least an hour! I personally say let the fruit marinate for as long as humanly possible. Then you will have the tasty alcohol embedded in the fruit. But after an hour or two add the simple syrup and the brandy. And that is it! I must say it was delicious and my guests agreed! So if you are looking for a simple sangria to add to your holiday table, this is it!

Cranberry Sangria

1 750 mL Bottle of Pinot Grigio
1 750 ML Bottle of Moscoto (I prefer Barefoot brand, it isn’t sickly sweet)
1/4 cup of brandy (or more if you like! :)
1/2 cup of white grape juice
1/4 cup sugar
3 sprigs of rosemary
2 granny smith apples (small chop)

1. In a small saucepan combine 1 cup of wine, sugar and grape juice. Bring to a boil. Add cranberries, remove from heat when they pop - about 30 seconds to a minute.
2. Drain syrup into bowl. Reserve cranberries.  Add rosemary and let sit.

3. Pour remaining wine and brandy into a carafe. Add apples and cranberries. Let chill for at least an hour!

4. Add cooled syrup, mix well and chill for an additional hour (the longer the merrier)


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