Last week I had the opportunity to take a carload of 13 year old boys to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Not only did we see a fantastic exhibit all about tracing one's family history, but we also had a brilliant "only in LA" moment as we were walking to a nearby park to eat our picnic lunches. Two men who lived in a small house that was nestled between giant apartment buildings, had moved their futon to the front yard so they could sunbathe. Greased and bronzed from head to tow, these swimsuit clad beauties (only one in a Speedo) were lounging at lunchtime, sipping what appeared to be sangria from rather large wine glasses.
Of course the boys snickered at the sight...we don't get much of that in suburbia...but what interested me most was their beverage--such a perfect refreshment on a hot day (it was 86 degrees and much too warm to be wearing a sweater, I might add). I was so parched that I almost skipped across the street to join them, but alas, I had a greater responsibility that day as an official adult chaperone.
But you can bet that when I returned home, I made a beeline for my produce drawer, still full of citrus from the farmers' market. Ten minutes later, I had a large pitcher of sangria chilling in the fridge. Fruity and tart, thirst quenching and light, it was the perfect way to end a very long day...and a very long week.
This beverage is fruity and tart, with a punch of citrus brightening every sip. It tastes best when it has a chance to chill for at least two hours, so plan accordingly. Bring it on a picnic or serve it at your next barbecue. Blood oranges are a seasonal treat (winter in SoCal), but regular navel oranges are a fine substitute.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Yield: serves 6
1 blood orange, cut into wheels
1 lime, cut into wheels
1 lemon, cut into wheels
6 ounces simple syrup
4 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1 bottle of dry, red table wine
6 ounces brandy
1. Place the orange, lime and lemon slices in a large pitcher, along with the simple syrup. Muddle (smash) them with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon to release their juices.
2. Add the orange juice, lime juice, wine and brandy and stir well.
3. Place pitcher in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 36 hours.
4. Placed ice cubes in 6 glasses, fill with sangria and garnish with the fruit slices.