Sangria (with music)

21 05 2010

Actually, the music is  in my mind.

When I hear the word Sangría, I have an immediate image of beautiful Spanish dancers with frothy skirts and polished heels and I hear the Tarantella accompanied by tambourines, played by a roving Italian troupe.

I am full of visual word associations… isn’t everyone? Trombone – See that parade of  eager and proud young Americans marching through the small streets of their flag-festooned village? How about Pomegranate? Look, there’s a small bistro table; a white cloth covering; glass pitcher of vin du pays and a small round wine glass – half full;  see the white, large lipped bowl in the center of the table, filled with a dozen thick-skinned pomegranates – mysterious and unyielding except for the one cut in half that has fallen from the bowl and drips its blood-red juices onto the white cloth.

Ah! I could go on.

I have a friend who experiences grapheme-synesthesia, whereby he perceives letters and numbers as inherently coloured. For example,  he might see the word –


I suppose if you must have a neurological glitch, this one could  be rather enjoyable. There are other versions of synesthesia involving sound, dimension and motion and even a type that causes you to assign personalities to various numbers, months, days of the week etc.   I think there is a continuum of sorts for this kind of experience as  I am capable of feeling excessively fond of certain words and, as seen above, having mighty strong visual responses to other words.

Sangría actually means bloodletting –how about the visual response to that word?- and it certainly makes sense when you look at the gorgeous deep jewel colour. It is  a summer treat in Spain and Portugal and found in most European cafe’s and bistros all year.  Sangría is a delightfully fresh, sweet, fruity, colourful and surprisingly light drink but deceptively potent.

I have enjoyed Sangría many times in Europe but I had never attempted to make it myself until a few months ago. It isn’t difficult and it is so rewarding, especially when served from a beautiful crystal pitcher.  Once it is made, it goes into the fridge where it improves with every hour.  This recipe is an amalgamation of common ingredients, from four or five different recipes, and my own artistic license.

Step 1:  Pour a bottle of red wine into a large pitcher.

Step 2:  Squeeze the juice  from 1 lemon, 1 orange and 1 lime into the wine.

Step 3:  Add a small can of pineapple chunks with the juice (or any fruit you prefer).

Step 4:  Add 2-3 tbsp sugar (you can add more before you serve it if you prefer a sweeter flavour).

Step 5:  Add 1/4 cup of orange juice.

Step 6:  Add  a couple of shots of your favourite spirit. Vodka works well, but  you can use brandy, gin or even whiskey. Chill at least an hour but overnight is better then, when you are ready to serve –

Step 7:  Add 4 cups of ginger ale.

Step 8:  Add a cup of raspberries or strawberries (fresh or frozen). Check flavours and tweak to your taste.

I like to put several slices of orange and lime in the glass to add a citrus tang – plus it looks pretty. Be creative!  I have made this with apple, pear and peach – you really can use whatever fruit you have on hand.

A taste of this drink  can fly you directly to the Mediterranean and find you sitting under a large oak tree with a fresh loaf of bread, some cheese and, of course, a glass of Sangría. This drink can gather you together with your closest friends around a large table – everyone laughing and talking and eating, children of all ages playing nearby and a small dog hovering close to the knees of the messiest eater.  A sip of this ruby elixir can remind you of all the things you had planned to do in the sunshine of your youth and encourage the dreams anew.
What a delicious experience – a kind of synesthesia in the goblet of your choice…



4 responses

27 05 2010

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!


18 06 2010

Well, thank you.
I appreciate your appreciation 🙂


24 06 2010
non, je ne regrette rien

try it with some rum as well…especially good if you macerate the fruit in the rum for a bit 1st…slurp!

8 07 2010

Ah! Thanks for that tip – I will try it.

Thank you, also, for keeping your blog public. I have been enjoying it for many months and have followed your adventures with such enjoyment. Your spirit and determination is inspiring.

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