From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm an observer by nature. As we travel, I love to watch new parents caring for their infants and young people caught in the first flush of love. Custom and tradition differ from one country to another but the tenderness they share is unmistakable and knows no borders. We had a whirlwind day today. Chance placed us in disparate spots where we watched two very different types of weddings. One was a homemade affair, held beneath a bower in a public rose garden. The other was far more grand, held in wine country at the King Estate. Both brides were lovely and the tenderness in the eyes of their new husbands was unmistakable. I would be hard pressed to say which bride will have the most pleasant memories of the day. The tonier wedding had food that you are all familiar with. The simpler feast was a truly homemade affair. The bride made her own cake and the sandwiches which were served to her guests. The groom whipped up the brew just before the ceremony began. They obviously had me in their camp the moment they said "I do." As I watched him make a punch that looked surprisingly like sangria, I knew exactly what would accompany our dinner tonight. Sangria is a wine punch that comes from Spain. I've made this sangria for better than forty years and it is, without a doubt, my favorite version of this wonderful summer drink. The original recipe belongs to Dione Lucas. She was the first woman to graduate from Le Cordon Blue and was a respected chef and restaurateur. She predated Julia Child on television, but lacked Julia's camera presence and thus was history writ. She was a marvelous cook and wrote many terrific cookbooks, one of which I still use today. I must warn you that this sangria is like a rum drink. It really packs a punch and gangs up on the unsuspecting very quickly. It is very easy to make. Here's the recipe.
Sangria...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Dione Lucas
1 large lemon, sliced
1 large naval orange, sliced
1/2 cup Cognac or good brandy
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups soda water
1 bottle (fifth) Rioja or other dry Spanish red wine
1) Place lemon and orange slices in a large pitcher. Add brandy and sugar. Sitr well with a wooden spoon. Let mixture stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
2) Just before serving, add wine and lemon juice. Stir well. Add ice cubes and soda water. Stir contents well, adding more ice cubes if necessary to chill sangria. Yield: 2 quarts.
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