A few years ago, I had a party with a menu that used a lot of ingredients I’d brought back from Spain, and my friend Elizabeth offered to bring sangria. When everyone arrived, I put out some hors d’oeuvres and the sangria on a table outside and went back in to finish cooking. I wasn’t gone a half hour, but when I emerged I found most of my guests in varying degrees of disarray, falling down, or doing generally inappropriate things.”What on earth did you put in the sangria?” I asked Elizabeth, who was still in fine form. “A couple of bottles of vodka. Mama always put vodka in her sangria.” That last line, I suggested to my old friend, ought to be the title of your autobiography. Her mother, Anne Ross, was a great woman with a legendary sense of humor and appetites to match. Little did I know that Bossy, as we called her, was not the only one who mixed clear spirits with wine to make a potent but delicious punch. The sangria recipe in Danny Meyer’s indispensable drinks book, Mix Drink Stir adds both gin and white rum, along with brandy and triple sec. I plan to make it immediately and have Elizabeth over with her sister McGee so we can toast heartily to their mother’s memory. Ã‚ Ã‚ Julia Reed.
From Mix Shake Stir
Makes about 3 quarts, or enough for 12 to 14 drinks
6 cups full-bodied dry wine such as merlot or chardonnay
2 cups simple syrup
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup fresh or unsweetened canned pineapple juice
3 oz white rum, preferably Bacardi
3 ounces gin
1 oz triple sec or other orange liqueur
1 oz brandy
3 cups (or more, as needed) chopped fresh seasonal fruit
Combine wine, simple syrup, orange and pineapple juices, rum, gin, triple sec, and brandy in a large glass pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Fill wine glasses with ice and arrange a half cup of the chopped fruit in each. Pour the sangria into the glasses and serve.
Pair berries and plums with red or peaches and melons with white. Citrus fruits add balance to both.