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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Craguns 2017

The 19th Hole
June 26, 2017

Give Your Backyard Event A Punch
Sommelier Leslee D. Miller


With Mother's Day fast approaching and the smell of spring in the air, I thought it only appropriate this month to share a few new libation goodies to use for your Sunday brunch table or your afternoon picnic al fresco. So, let's talk Sangria!
While the traditional sangria recipe couldn't be simpler, I thought I'd toss out a few ways to make this tasty Spanish teaser even more irresistible with a few new flavor combinations.

Traditionally, Sangria is a blend of red wine, fresh seasonal fruit and a splash of brandy. The basics, yes, are a great place to start yet there are a number of directions you can take this simple recipe to add depth and interest to your backyard punch. For example, try making your sangria with a lush white wine like Chardonnay, instead of a more traditional 'red'. Drop in a few tropical fruits to add dimension to the Chardonnay to expose its round pineapple-y, mango flavors. Or, use a light and refreshing sparkling wine, like Cava from Spain to create a spa-like concoction and add ingredients like fresh kiwi, lime or basil for lifting its refreshing aromatics. Better yet, use a dark, brambly red like Zinfandel and add star anise, black peppercorns or cinnamon stick to expose the peppery and more sultry flavors of your base wine. One last trick...add a creative simple syrup to peak the natural flavors of the base wine you're using to complete the palate of your tasty wine based cocktail. And last, don't be afraid to use herbs and even vegetables! Sometimes ingredients like basil or cucumber add even more acidity to an already zesty base wine. The possibilities are virtually endless and all equally, tempting!

Here are a few new recipe ideas to try on your own!
(Note: Best to combine all ingredients-except for your garnish-and let sit in your fridge overnight for the most flavor before serving. Each recipes makes about 16 quarts)

LIVELY MOSCATO SANGRIA
1 mango, peeled, sliced, grilled
1 peach, halved, stone removed, grilled
1 tangelo, sliced, grilled
750mL sparkling Moscato (Choose an inexpensive but tasty one from any corner of the globe.)
4 ounces Cointreau
4 ounces Brandy (something simple, like Korbel or Christian Bros)
2 ounces Ginger simple syrup, or to taste
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

LUSH BLANC DE BLANC SANGRIA
2 oranges, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch wheels, grilled
2 lemons, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch wheels, grilled
1 cup pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into slices, and grilled
1 pear, peeled, cored, halved, grilled
1 apple, peeled, cored, halved, grilled
750mL California Chardonnay
4 ounces Cointreau
4 ounces Brandy (something simple, like Korbel or Christian Bros)
2 ounces citrus simple syrup or to taste
Edible flowers for garnish

THE DARK & STORMY
2c blackberries
2c raspberries
2c black cherries (whole and some cut up)
3c red grapes
2c blueberries
3c strawberries (some whole and some cut up)
2c plums
Star anise (just 2-3 whole per 1 bt of wine)
¼ c black peppercorns
Fresh rosemary (approx 2-3 stalks to 1bottle of wine)

For sweetening and to add a little zip to the overall flavor of your sangria, we like to add:
Brandy (we use Korbel - use 1 cup per 1bottle of wine)
Cointreau or Grand Marnier (use 1 cup to 1bottle of wine)
Blackberry or cherry simple syrup (use to your level of sweetness - generally 1/2 cup to 1bottle of wine)
Add a dash of prepared cherry bitters for another layer of earthy texture


Need a few Simple Syrups to kick up your mix? Try these!

Basic Simple Syrup
1 cup water
2 cup granulated sugar

Add water and sugar to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium high heat, stirring a couple of times to dissolve the sugar, until mixture just boils. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer mixture to a sealed container-a glass jar works nicely-and store in the refrigerator.

Ginger Simple Syrup
Add 1/2 cup of unpeeled, finely chopped ginger to the water and sugar mixture. Boil for 5 minutes. Cool and store syrup with ginger in it; strain before adding to sangria.

Citrus Simple Syrup
Instead of water, use 1/2 cup orange juice plus 1/2 cup lemon juice. Add the zest of one orange and one lemon. Cool and store syrup with zest in it; strain before adding to sangria.


What about the Wine?

The type of wine you choose for your sangria depends on the flavor you'd like to create: fresh and light, rich and robust or bold and spicy!

SAUVIGNON BLANC
Light and grassy! Fresh notes of kiwi, lime zest, basil, and honeydew will taste just like summer here.

PROSECCO
Citrus splash! Pairs perfectly with tangerine, blood orange, and grilled lemon. Think bubbly!

RIESLING
Pretty as a picture: Ginger, white peach, mango, and mint will make the flavors of Riesling come alive.

CHENIN BLANC OR VIOGNIER
Floral and supple. Honeycomb, slices of rich apple and peach are great complements.

PINOT NOIR
Cherry bomb! Combine with a bright herb like basil and lighter red fruits (cherry, cranberry, raspberry).

CABERNET
Bold, with muscular notes that work well with blackberry, whole peppercorns, and cinnamon stick.

SHIRAZ
Peppery, with a hint of smoke. Pair with blueberry, raspberry, star anise, vanilla bean, clove, and black pepper.

SANGIOVESE
Combine with sage, oregano, thyme and red fruits (strawberry, raspberry, plum) for a taste of the old world.






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