My blackberry story continues.
I can never do anything just a little bit. As I mentioned in this post featuring blackberry glazed watermelon, I have a lot of blackberries in my freezer. And, my obsessive compulsive gene has kicked in. I went from making blackberry syrup to blackberry glazed watermelon to blackberry sorbet to blackberry sangria in mere minutes of unleashing that first bag.
I admit that I marvel at the sweet tooth of the South. When I first moved here, it was not uncommon for a server to come to the table and ask me if I wanted sweet tea or coca cola. And, when I seemed surprised that I was offered these options as THE options, I think my server was more surprised that I declined. One sweet drink option they like around here is sangria. Fruity, sweet, and non-pretentious, sangria makes it’s way around several of the local taco joints including one called Local Taco as the sweet tea replacement. And, I don’t mind a bit.
This first came to my attention when a friend of mine that was never a wine drinker, and not really a cocktail drinker became as smitten with sangria as she was with fried chicken and buttermillk pie. But there was something else going on as her love affair with sangria was peaking. I’ll leave out the details, but I refer to it as the long long, hot hot summer of 2010.
Had it not been for my friend and her love for sangria, I probably would have missed and dismissed this drink as just another “too sweet for me” option. But, as my friend was coming for dinner and the blackberry syrup was cooking, it was a natural next step to make sangria.
Sangria, The Recipe
Sangria is a red wine fruit punch typically made with the Spanish Rioja wine. There is always wine, fruit and some sort of simple syrup or sugar. Sometimes there is brandy. Sometimes it is topped with something sparkling. But, Sangria is a party wine that is just right when you think it’s just right. There is a lot of wiggle room to get that sweet, fruity, party wine as long as it doesn’t taste like hawaiian punch. This is still an adult drink, just a really fun one that pairs perfectly with summer food.
I used my homemade blackberry syrup, but you could make a simple syrup and you could use any frozen fruit if you wanted to. You could also add in triple sec, grand marnier, brandy or flavored vodka. Sangria is something you experiment with and taste as you go. The flavors will, however, meld together and strengthen once refrigerated overnight which is an important step you don’t want to miss.
1 bottle red wine (I used cabernet, you could use lambrusco, rioja, beaujolais)
1 cup blackberry syrup (or a simple syrup)*
2 peaches peeled, sliced
1 orange (juice of half, slices of the other half
1 lemon (slices of half, juice of half)
Mix in large jug. Refrigerate over night.
4 cups frozen blackberries (can use fresh)
Enough water to cover just to cover
Sugar to taste (1-2 cups)
Heat blackberries at a medium heat until sugar is melted and liquid is reduced
Add in 1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
Take berries through a sieve to prevent seeding. Don’t force, but allow to sit over a bowl in a sieve or cheesecloth for an hour. Then gently crush through.
Simple Syrup Option
1 part water to 1 part sugar. Bring to boil until sugar is dissolved.
Start with 1 cup each, but add only according to how sweet you want the Sangria. You can add in frozen fruit for flavor.