Brandied Berried Sangria
In a pinch, Sangria is a pleasant, unexpected surprise, giving cheer to any meal. Sangria reminds me of champagne, a drink with a reputation for celebration. The myth being you need a reason to celebrate; I think we just need to celebrate more often without a given reason. Besides, this is so easy to pour together. Years ago I picked up a recipe from Martha Stewart, then simplified it to my liking.
Consider assembling a Sangria Kit as a gift; it is fabulous for friends and neighbors during the holidays (especially if they have previously enjoyed it with you!). Place Ingredients artistically in basket, bag or tin. Provide recipe and holiday greetings. I usually include:
1 bottle of Beaujolais (or my dad's blackberry wine) 1 bottle sparkling blackberry, black cherry or raspberry soda 2 oranges 1 tiny bottle brandy (2 oz) Small bag of berries: blackberry, currant, cranberry, raspberry Optional: 2-3 plums, bunch black grapes.
To assemble: pour wine, soda, juice of one orange, 1 orange sliced into thin rounds, brandy and berries in large glass flask or decanter. Optional: add 1-2 T sugar to taste, stir to blend. Can be made 1-2 hours in advance; serve at room temperature.