It’s the last of the Topsail weekend recipes. I’d say I was sad, but it’s just not possible for me to be sad thinking about white wine sangria. For many years I worked at Beans and Barley a café, catering company, bakery, deli, natural and specialty foods store. It’s evolved over the years from being a “granola” sort of place to being a place that serves consistently great food (including homemade granola). There is no better place to get a vegetarian black bean quesadilla with El Rey chips and Mrs. Renfros salsa on the side, or a
chicken pinenut salad sandwich. Beans likes to promote small businesses and
locally grown food. They are the reason I can make hummus without a recipe, flip
an omelet one-handed and decorate a tiered wedding cake. (Though don’t ask me
to flip an omelet right now, it’s been years since I’ve worked the brunch line so
the first couple may be a bit messy.) It was the sort of place where the owners closed on holidays, and invited everyone to get together for a meal and fun. I made many, many friends there over the years.
On the 4th of July Beans threw a company picnic in the park complete with volleyball and of course food. People brought dishes and cooks sweated over grills on their day off. And among other things, we drank white wine sangria served out of a 5 gallon bucket with a ladle in it. The recipe is published in one of their slim volumes of Beans favorites in this case from “Thirty-Six Beans” published in 2003 on their 30th anniversary. It was originally based on a recipe from Gourmet magazine, but like the restaurant the recipe has evolved over the years. This is the home version that makes a gallon. I’ve modified it a bit so
that the sangria fills the gallon jar without ice. You MUST serve over ice – the original recipe was intended to fill a jar that included ice so that the sangria was potent, but not so much so as to make one insensible. Included below are recommendations for my lower carb version.
This recipe goes good with summer.
Gallon jar, jug or cooler (Mine is a recycled industrial size mayo jar. Thanks again Beans!)
1.5 liter of dry white wine
¾ cup brandy (I like Korbel. To paraphrase my friend Paul, moderately priced but eminently drinkable)
3 T brown sugar*
3 T white sugar*
Lemon lime or “white” soda*
1 orange, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
The night before serving, pour first 4 ingredients into a gallon jar and stir. Add sliced citrus fruit. Pour in lemon lime soda to fill jar. Cover and let sit overnight (preferably in fridge, but technically you don’t have to refrigerate). Serve in glasses over ice.
If you are serving the same day, reduce the brandy to ½ cup (unless you want it stronger). In a saucepan dissolve the sugar in brandy over low heat so the brandy does not evaporate. Use only two 12 oz cans of soda, and fill the remaining space in the gallon container with ice. It’s much better if it sits for a few hours, but will be ready to use right away if needed, you know, for sangria emergencies.
*For lower carb version, use diet lemon lime soda and a sugar substitute of your own choosing. I use Diabetisweet brown sugar and a liquid sucralose (Splenda) type product. I use Sweetzfree. Diabetisweet brown has a strong “caramelized sugar” sort of flavor so I usually reduce the amount called for in any recipe. Reduce the amount you use to around 1 Tablespoon and make up the rest with sucralose. In general, with sugar substitutes you can reduce the overall amount you use and still get the same sweetness as they have a synergistic effect one another.