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Back in the mid 70s I was lucky enough to be working in New York City near a restaurant called Meson Botin which was situated between Seventh Avenue and Broadway on W 58th St. The owner was a charming man named Pepe and would always be around to make sure your experiences were the best.
Glass of Ice Chilled Sangria
Glass of Ice Chilled Sangria
One of the things I remember the most was occasionally getting a pitcher of sangria which Pepe would make table side on a rolling cart. I don't remember all the particulars but it did include macerated fruit and brandy and of course, red wine. It definitely made for a nice lunch break.
I spent some time trying to recreate it to the best of my recollection and below is what I came up with. It is important to remember that Sangria is more of a technique than a recipe. So start with this and let us know how you change it to make it your own. Enjoy!
Ingredients
For the Fruit
  • 1 pear, 1 plum, 1 apple, washed and cut into 1/2" dice. There is no need to peel anything.
  • Note - The choice of fruits here is completely yours. I like the mixture presented because of the slightly sweet balance. You can substitute a peach, a nectarine or even red seedless grapes cut in half for the plum. You can add citrus such as orange, lemon or lime slices although that is not my preference. Feel free to experiment and if all else fails use what you have.
  • 2 oz brandy (this does not need to be the most expensive brandy in your cabinet)
  • Note - Feel free to add 3 ounces here. I prefer 2 because it creates more of a background influence than an up front brandy experience.
  • 1 oz orange liquer such as Patron Citronge or Cointreau
  • Note - Many recipes call for orange juice or some kind of citrus juice. Again, as with the fruit, that is not my preference. But this 1 ounce of a good quality orange liqueur adds a nice balance.
  • 2 T sugar (or more if you want it sweeter, especially if you use citrus fruits in your blend)
  • spices (optional)
  • Note - If you so desire (I don't most of the time), you can add spices to the fruit mix such as allspice, cinnamon stick, ginger or cloves. They can be wrapped in cheesecloth and added to the fruit mix or you can make a simple syrup on the stove and add the spices to steep in that and add that to the sangria with the fruit in place of the sugar. Feel free to experiment.
For the Sangria
  • 1 750 ml bottle red wine, like cabernet, pinot noir or merlot
  • Note - This doesn't need to be an expensive wine but should be something you would happily drink on its own. I frequently use Rex-Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon which runs around $5 a bottle but actually is a pretty good casual wine.
  • macerated fruit
  • chilled sparkling water or lemon-lime soda
Instructions
1.  In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredients in the Fruit section except the spice pack. Stir well to make sure everything is mixed in. Add the spice pack and stir gently so you don't break it open. We don't want small hard bits of anything floating around in our glass of sangria.
Fruit Choice - Apple, Pear and Plum
Fruit Choice - Apple, Pear and Plum
Brandy and Orange Liqueur
Brandy and Orange Liqueur
Fruit Mix Ready to Mix
Fruit Mix Ready to Mix
2.  Let the mixture sit for at least 2 hours out on the counter.
3.  Once the fruit is mixed, put the bottle of wine in the refrigerator to chill.
4.  After 2 hours add the wine to the pitcher and return it to the refrigerator.
5.  To serve, remove the spice pack. Scoop some of the fruit into a large wine glass. Add some ice to the glass and then fill about 3/4 of the way with the wine. Add a splash of soda water or lemon-lime soda (like Sprite) and serve.
This Looks So Good!
This Looks So Good!
Summary
This is such a refreshing change from just a plain galss of red wine as an apperitif. Give it a try and be sure to let us know how you change it up to make it your own. And if by some chance you don't finish it, just cover the pitcher with some plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge. It will be even better the next day. Enjoy!
Recipe Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time - Active: 30 Minutes
Prep Time - Inactive:    4 to 24 Hours
Category: Cocktails, Breakfast/Brunch, The Big Game, Awards Night
Cooking Techniques: Mixing
Cuisine: Spanish
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