September 22, 2010

Last Call For Summer

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This week my professor told the class that we were all acting like it was still summer. So he told us that we had to go home this weekend, get out of summer mode, and get into school mode. To me that meant one thing, I would have to live up this weekend to its fullest extent, and that would be no problem with Homecoming this weekend. I’m certainly excited for all the Homecoming festivities: tailgating, the football game, classy dinners, wine and cheese, Four Locos, and of course bar crawls with alumni. While all of these events will certainly be fun, memorable, and possibly destructive, they won’t give me the closure I need at the end of the summer.

What I need before I throw up the white flag and surrender to another Ithaca winter is one nice relaxed afternoon in the sun, relaxing outside sipping a nice cool drink, and nothing says goodbye to the summer like a nice cool sangria on a warm day. So how do we make sangria you ask? Well that question is almost as abstract as “How do I make fruit punch?” or “What goes on a pizza?” Just as all of our late night trundles to CTP and Mamma T’s have taught us that there are a million ways to make a pizza, there are a million ways to make sangria.

The most important ingredient in the sangria is the wine which makes up the base. It’s best to start with a dry fruity red wine, because once all the ingredients are added it’s going to be sweet enough. It’s generally better to use a good quality wine, but turning that wine you don’t even remember buying on your last wine tour into sangria is a good way to make it palatable.

Next is the fruit, while just about every fruit can be used, there are a few you want to avoid, especially bananas which have the tendency to turn to mush. Just be sure to use your judgment when gathering fruit. According to Nick Segovia ‘11, wine expert (well, self-proclaimed until Cornell grants his VIEN degree), “Don’t over do it with the fruit, that just ruins it.” No matter how much fruit you decide to use, remember to mix the fruit and wine in advance so that the fruit flavors have time to mix with the wine. Just don’t do what my housemates (J&G) did and leave it in the fridge for a month.

Lastly, the sangria needs some sweetener, some alcohol, and some soda if you choose. Sugar, honey, and orange juice are some possible sweeteners; they help to blend the taste, and are especially important when you are using sour fruit. Triple Sec or Brandy is usually used as the alcohol; it serves to preserve the sangria, and most importantly it raises the ever important alcohol per volume ratio. The soda can lighten the taste and give the sangria a sparkling effect.

End of Summer Sangria

This is my recipe for nice sangria. Mix all of the ingredients except for the soda and refrigerate them overnight. Then when you are ready to serve add the soda and enjoy. You may want to add ice if like me you plan to savor your sangria with the last day of summer.

But Wait There’s More!

The Sangria You Will Actually Make

·      2 Miss-Matched Bottles of Questionable Red Wine

·      The Fruit You Stole From the Dining Hall

·      Swedish Fish (Sweetener?)

·      Vodka (it’s also Kamikaze ingredient right?)

·      Soda

Notice that almost all amounts are unmeasured. In this case the Vodka serves primarily to increase the alcohol content at the sacrifice of taste, and the inability to find sweetener leads to the next closest thing. This sangria spends one or two hours max in the fridge before it is ravenously consumed, most likely by people who had no hand in preparing it.

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Original Author: Ben Bissantz