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Frenchie and the Sangria

23 Jun

So today happens to be my birthday (Merci!) and there is nothing better than a glass of sangria to celebrate a new candle on a cake with friends, colorful drinks and a house filled with mirthful and frivolity.

Sangria is neither French nor American and I am not claiming that my recipe is authentically Spanish but it’s good, it works and that’s how I’ve been making it for a long time. A sangria recipe is like a crêpes recipe, there are plenty of them and each claim to be the best.

Sangria is the quintessential summer item bringing refreshing hints of fruits, wine, citrus and sweet sparkling flavors on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, today is definitely not hot nor sunny but the colors and aroma of cut-up summer fruits carry joviality and cheers in the house as the celebratory preparations carry on. Again, there must be something about mixing fruits with wine or any type of alcohol for that matter because somehow it seems to be a recurring theme for me lately.

If you can, make the sangria at least 2-3 days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. The flavors will be ten times stronger than if made the day of and the fruits gorged with wine will be tastier.  I prefer to use organic fruits because of the peels marinating directly in the wine. This recipe is meant to produce between 16-22 servings – it is an over-sized bowl of sangria! Divide all measurements in half to make a smaller batch.

And as one of my friend always says “there is no such thing as an over-sized bowl of sangria”. Santée!

Ingredients:

20 strawberries

2 cups (200 g) of raspberries

2 cups (200 g) of blackberries

2 cups (200 g) of blueberries

2 oranges + peel

the peel of 2 lemons

1 Granny Smith apple

2 cinnamon sticks

10 cups (2.5 l) of dry fruity red wine

3 cups (1 l) of orange juice

1 1/3 cup (310 ml) of Grand Marnier

1/2 cup (120 ml) of rum

3 cups (1 l) of sparkling water

12 Tbsps (145 g) of sugar

12 Tbsps (180 ml) of water

In a small saucepan, boil the water and sugar to create a syrup. At boiling point and when the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from the heat and let it cool completely.

Quarter the strawberries, halve the blackberries and raspberries, cut up the apple in small pieces, slice the oranges (keep the peel) and peel the lemons.

In a big bowl, mix the following: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, oranges and apple. Add the pieces of orange and lemon peels. Place the cinnamon sticks in the bowl.

Pour the sugar syrup over the fruits. Add the wine, Grand Marnier, rum and orange juice. Mix well and gently.

Taste and add more Grand Marnier or rum – or even cinnamon –  depending on the flavors you are looking for.

Only add the sparkling water right before serving. You can choose the serve the sangria over ice. When pouring and preparing the sangria glasses, make sure there aren’t too many fruits inside the glasses with the juice. 1/4 to 1/3 cup of fruits in each glass – depending on the size – should be plenty.

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