🎶Cinco de Mayo is the fifth of May!🎶 I think there was a beer commercial years ago that used that little jingle and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.
So it’s Cinco de Mayo and while you won’t find me standing around in the parking lot of our favorite Tex Mex restaurant with hoards of other people that HAVE TO celebrate this holiday, I do feel the need for a small at home celebration with one of my favorite drinks…Sangria.
I just realized this morning that I am often sharing my cooking disasters with you guys and I rarely share successes. While making sangria isn’t necessarily cooking, even hubby has to admit that the sangria I make is pretty kick-ass and delicious. Seriously, there are very few restaurants that I think make sangria this good (mostly Portuguese places—everyone else seems to water it down too much).
I started off with a friend’s recipe years ago and I’ve slowly adapted it to suit our tastes. That’s not to say I don’t tweak it every now and again. And despite my initial resistance to “white sangria”, I’ve created a recipe for that which is pretty damn tasty as well.
But today I made a red sangria for the fifth. I started off with two bottles of cheap red wine. Yes CHEAP. Cheap is best. I’ve tried more expensive wines and they seriously don’t make good sangria.
I personally like two buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s (which is now $3, go figure). I prefer to use Merlot and Shiraz (yes, I mix them). Cabernet Sauvignon is good, too. Don’t be tempted to get fancy…remember what I said about cheap? You can make this recipe with one bottle and just half the rest of the ingredients. (Or double it if you’re expecting a crowd.) Next up are the other alcohol products. 4 oz of Triple Sec: And 4 oz of Ginger Brandy: These are pretty potent in the sangria, but if you feel the need to add a little more, knock yourself out (or let the sangria do it because if you add more it will be STRONG). Then add 12 oz. orange juice: And 16-20 oz of 7-up, Sprite or Sierra Mist: You can always add more soda if the sangria seems too strong. Then add the sweetened lime juice. I use between 2-3 oz: Taste it after this step to see if you need more of anything. (I added some more lime juice and a splash of OJ after tasting—it wasn’t fruity enough) For my Cinco de Mayo Sangria I put in granny smith apples, blackberries, and cherries, but you can put in whatever fruit you want. As far as fruit goes, everyone has preferences. I like my fruit to be seasonal. When I make white sangria I like strawberries, white grapes, and peaches (I use Peach Schnapps instead of Ginger Brandy).
When I make a Christmas Sangria, I use cranberries and honeycrisp apples. I also buy frozen fruit like strawberries and cherries to add to the sangria—it doubles as ice cubes and doesn’t water the drink down as much as ice cubes do. Refrigerate for a few hours, pour yourself a glass, and kick back on the porch to enjoy!