Food and drink: Tip your party table to tapas 

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Classic sangria

Sangria should not be too sweet, with only a moderate amount of orange juice. The wine should be a fruity one; best to use organic fruit.

6 tbsp. sugar

6 tbsp. water

8 strawberries, quartered

1 c. raspberries

1 c. blueberries

1 c. blackberries (great to get wild ones around Whistler in August)

8 slices peeled oranges (1 whole orange)

5 c. dry (fruity) red wine

1 1/2 c. orange juice (try fresh OJ - delicious)

2/3 c. Grand Marnier

1 1/2 c. sparkling water

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Combine the fruit gently in a bowl. Mix the sugar-water, wine, OJ and Grand Marnier in a large pitcher. Add the fruit to the pitcher and stir gently to combine. Add the sparkling water and serve immediately, or allow the mixture to sit refrigerated, for up to 12 hours, before finishing with the sparkling water and serving over ice. To serve, spoon 1/3 c. of the fruit into each glass and pour the liquid over.

Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning freelance writer whose first glimpse of Spain was during Franco's reign, when Basques weren't allowed to speak Basque, police toted automatic weapons and shots of tequila were a dime.

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