We moved to the central coast back in 2012 for a job. Dave had recently graduated culinary school and the recession hit us pretty hard. We quickly realized that the jobs back in the mountains would always be seasonal, (at one point in late 2011, Dave worked a grand total of 36 hours in a month…MONTH not week!) and that the competition for each position would be cutthroat. The recession ended up becoming the best adventure for us. With only a few weeks notice, we packed up our whole life and moved 4 hours from everyone and everything we knew.
The job he took was for a new restaurant owned by a local restaurateur. It was a tapas style restaurant with global and Spanish dishes. We had never even heard of tapas before and had a hard time pronouncing items on their menu. We quickly learned all about this type of cuisine and what made it unique. It’s now one of our favorite types of dining because of its unique social aspect.
ta·pas ˈtapəs/ noun plural noun: tapas1. small, Spanish, savory dishes, typically served with drinks at a bar or on a patio. Often served “family style” with many people sharing each dish.
One of our favorite drinks from that restaurant was the House Sangria. It paired so well with the warm and slightly spicy flavors of the dishes. It was light, sweet and refreshing. The best part was that they changed it based on what time of year you ordered it. We love the idea that food should change with the seasons. If you can only grow peaches and plums during certain parts of the year, shouldn’t the recipes and dishes you make reflect that? That’s what homesteading is all about. Learning about your food, how to grow it best, how to preserve it and when to purchase it at its peak and height of affordability.
Our Summer Red Sangria is Day 6 of the Summer Produce Series. We’ve written this recipe to include the seasonal aspect of produce. If you’re making it during the summer for a bbq, include stone fruits or berries. Find yourself mixing up a batch in the fall? Why not experiment with apples and spices. The point is to get in there and try out new flavors. We’ve included some suggested blends at the end of the recipe.
Not a big fan of wine? Scroll down for our equally delicious non-alcoholic version.
We hope it creates a great starting point for your own custom blend!
Summer Red Sangria
A Spanish staple on a summer night. Thirst quenching and satisfying.
- 1 cup of lemonade (Sparkling Strawberry Basil Lemonade works well!)
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup brandy or rum
- 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 orange, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 lime, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 cup seasonal fruit sliced or cut into wedges (peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries etc.)
- 1 750 mL bottle of red wine
- 2 cups of sparkling water or club soda (optional)
- In a large, glass pitcher, add all of the fruit.
- To the fruit, add the lemonade, orange juice, brandy and wine. Stir together until combined.
- Chill for 6 hours or overnight. (The flavors develop the longer it chills). Just before serving, add the sparkling water and pour over ice into mason jars. Garnish with a citrus slice.
Note: here are four variations to try:
- Winter Blend: oranges, grapefruit and cinnamon
- Spring Blend: Strawberries, limes and sub passion fruit juice for orange juice and white wine instead of red
- Fall Blend: Asian pear, red grapes, cinnamon and whole cloves.
- Kitchen Sink Blend: Peaches, Plums, Apples, oranges. Sub pineapple juice for the orange juice. Use white wine instead of red.
Non-Alcoholic Summer Red Sangria
A lovely twist on a classic Spanish drink. Perfect for any time, adults and kiddos alike!
- 4 cups cranberry-grape juice
- 1 cup lemonade (Sparkling Strawberry Basil Lemonade)
- 1 ½ cups sliced fruit (oranges, lemons, limes, plums, apples, grapes etc.)
- 2 cups ginger ale or sparkling cider
- In a large pitcher, combine all the sliced fruit with the cran-grape juice and the lemonade.
- Refrigerate for an hour.
- Before serving, add the ginger ale. Pour over ice, into glasses. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry. Note: I sometimes use frozen grapes instead of the ice if I have them available.