Back in the Summer we got a hankering for Sangria. Reminiscent of our wine-tasting experiments, and a whiskey tasting experiment we did with Eric and Suzie, we decided to go ahead and do the same thing with Sangria. Lorin, Dan, and I each chose a couple or recipes and mixed them up, then we went to Dan's house to have a "tasting" and see which ones we liked the best. The simple conclusion was that the lighter, fruitier, more sugary sangrias were preferred. Here is how it went down...

First you need your ingredients. Like any new recipe, the first time you make it you spend a lot of money on stuff that you might not have at home normally, and probably won't use 100% of right away. The two things that nailed us on this were the Cognac and the strawberry juice. Of course you can buy strawberry juice (it's that little squat red bottle in the V formed by the oranges and the strawberries) in our "we have everything gourmet" grocery store, and it costs a lot. Cognac we don't know much about, so we didn't obsess on getting a good bottle.

I made one recipe that was strawberry-kiwi-lime. You can see that in general we did not use very good wine for these recipes. You don't really need it. Sangria is the wine equivalent of barbecue - you take your ingredients that aren't fit for consumption and soak them in other flavors. So for BBQ you take all the lousy cuts of meat and cook the crap out of them (or turn them into unrecognizable things like sausage links) and with sangria you use your cheap wine and cut it with sugar and fruit to make it something different that tastes really good.

The rest of the ingredients. It's made with Rose wine too. (this one turned out to be awesome.)

Lorin made one that she just made up. She likes all kinds of fruit, so she added all kinds.

Here is it with the lemons and the wine added. It's ready to go sit in the fridge for a while now and let its flavors get to know one another.

Here's a little movie of a batch getting built up.

Now it goes into the fridge to allow it all to become "ready."

This captures the joy of waiting pretty accurately, wouldn't you say? (Note the pen and paper - we've learned to take notes when we do stuff like this.)

Time passes.

It was time. Dan laid out towels on his table because the jars we used were probably going to be lousy for pouring. (We had 7 recipes, so this is just the preliminary spread...)

We had some snacks too. Cous cous, chips, guacamole, and pico de gayo.

Lorin evaluates two competing recipes.

Now it's one thing to take notes, and it's another thing entirely to KEEP the notes. The paper from that day is long gone. We had two that we really liked. The strawberry-kiwi was a huge hit, we'll make that one again. We also liked a white wine and peach one that lorin had made. The traditional red wine/citrus ones were also good, but it's SUPER important to put the sugar into those. Using a dry wine and a bunch of citrus makes it awful. Using a crappy, sweet wine (sorry if I'm offending people who like bad wine...) is really the right thing to do.

That's it, thanks for looking.