With the temperatures reaching the 38ºC/40ºC this Summer, Sangria soon became my favourite drink for Saturday night. Most of the recipes for sangria include wine and another alcohol beverage like a fruit liquor, vodka or any other of your taste. I prefer in this case a more plain recipe with the wine being the only alcohol and get the extra flavour from the fruit and by adding 2 or 3 spices.
I tested the recipe over the past two weeks, using new ingredients from my recent travels: The Indonesian long pepper by PepperMongers, from a trip to London, and preserved cherries from a visit to Casa de Juste farm in the North of Portugal.
The Indonesian long pepper, has a sweet taste and combines beautifully with cinnamon, when added to the Sangria it will leave you with a warm and spicy taste, after the first refreshing kick of any sangria. The preserved cherries add the sweetness of their syrup.
500 ml of a good fruity red wine (I used Chão das Rolas, a portuguese red wine)
200 ml cherry syrup
1000 ml of lemon-lime flavoured soft drink (chilled)
1 big peach, peeled and diced
14 cherries preserved in syrup
3 cinnamon sticks
2 Indonesian long pepper catkins
1. Place the peach, the cherries, the cinnamon sticks, the pepper catkins and the cherry syrup in a large jug.
2. Pour the wine into the jug. Stir the ingredients.
3. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours, to allow the flavours to develop.
4. Add the chilled lemon-lime flavoured soft drink and some ice. Stir and serve immediately.
5. If you like strong sangria reduce the soft drink quantity to half. If you find it too strong you can keep adding the soft drink until it reaches your taste.
As you probably noticed there is no mint on this sangria, and there is a reason why: I’m not really a big fan of mint.