|My Homemade Sangria|
There are many stories of Old New Orleans which deal with Spain -- such as the notorious administration of Governor "Bloody" O'Reilly and the military adventures of Bernado de Galvez. These would make for good stories for this history blog. But today, in honor of Old Spain, I will reveal my "secret recipe" for my own version of New Orleans Sangria. This is a superb drink to make on a hot and humid summer day in the Crescent City.
My recipe is simple and light for a refreshing drink in summer. You will need a basic dry red wine. It can be an inexpensive table or jug wine since we will be adding many things to it. Then you need brown sugar, club soda or sparkling water, and fresh fruit like oranges, lemons, limes, and perhaps pineapple. You can also use orange juice, lemon juice, and pineapple juice, optionally. You will also need a large pitcher (clear glass or even plastic is good) and ice.
To prepare simply add the wine to the pitcher and add enough brown sugar to reach the taste you like. I like it just barely sweet, but not too much. To get this, just slowly add sugar and taste and repeat until you reach your desired taste. Then slice the fruit and squeeze some of the juice into the pitcher. You can add the extra fruit juices of your choice at this point, optionally.Then add the remaining sliced fruit into the pitcher. Mix to the proportions of your choice.
To serve, place ice and a splash of soda water into a tall clear glass, then add your Sangria. Stir and top your glass with some sliced fruit. And that is all. Do other glasses the same way.
Some people like to add a shot of brandy or cognac to the Sangria, but I don't usually do that since I like the drink as a refreshment on a hot day. The brandy or cognac simply makes it too strong to drink as a refreshment in the New Orleans heat. But I suppose in the evening, this might be OK.
Sangria is a fine drink and reminds us of the wonderful things Old Spain added to New Orleans' history and culture.