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Margaritas

Mango-Nectarine Sangria

Traditional Red Sangria

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Margaritas

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Time: Depends on how many you’ve already had

Inspired by: My love for Mexico.. and tequila makes all parties rock! While I already enjoyed Tajín® Clásico Seasoning, in numerous ways, my surfer friend Nicole was the one who suggested it as an alternative to salt for rimming a margarita glass. There is NO BETTER WAY. And I also thank her for this picture. We surf together every November (my birthday month) in Southern Mexico. She makes margaritas for us each night, while I make dinner. Her job (squeezing all of those limes!) is much more difficult. The picture above is the gift she made for my 49th birthday. Nothing could have been more perfect 🙂

Supplies: Margarita shaker, plate wide enough for dipping/salting the rim of the glass, and margarita pitchers if you are making these in larger batches

Ingredients:

  • 3 parts reposado tequila
  • 3 parts fresh lime juice
  • 1 part Cointreau
  • Tajín® Clásico Seasoning, salt, or salt with a bit of Cayenne mixed in to rim your glass

Preparation for One Glass:

  • Moisten the rim of your glass with a lime wedge and dip it into the Tajín or salt
  • Add to shaker: tequila (3 shots), lime juice (3 shots), Cointreau (1 shot), ice cubes, and shake well
  • Put some ice cubes into the glass
  • Pour the shaker contents into the glass while straining out the ice, then add additional ice as needed
  • Garnish with a slice of lime

Notes:  I do not like sweet margaritas – I prefer to really taste the tequila and the fresh lime. If you prefer yours sweet, add additional Cointreau or a dash of Agave syrup.  Fresh lime juice is the only way to go and rimming with Tajín is the final perfect touch to me. In case you are not familiar with the salty/chile/limey flavor of Tajín, I included a link above. These are pretty strong margaritas, but they rock! If you plan to be drinking them like they are going out of style, you might consider cutting the tequila quantity back just a bit!


Traditional Red Sangria

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Traditional Red Sangria

Time: This shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes for one batch, but if you are making multiple batches for a party, it can be time consuming to cut up the fruit. It’s also best if you make it 24 hours or so before drinking.

Serves: This recipe yields 6 large wine goblet sized glasses, or 10 smaller glasses.

Inspired by: My visit to Barcelona, Spain in the early 1990’s to visit my friend Georgia when she was living there. We had fabulous sangria with fabulous friends. I think the fruitiness/sweetness of sangria goes well with many of the spices and garlic used in some of the typical Spanish tapas. I don’t make this often, but now and then it’s fun and festive for a party.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of red wine (wine suggestions in the “notes” below)
  • 1/2 cup of orange liqueur (I prefer Grand Marnier to Cointreau but both are better than triple sec)
  • 1-1/2 cups of orange juice
  • 1 orange sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 lemon sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 lime sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 apple cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 nectarine (or other stone fruit – peach, plum, mango) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional)

Preparation: Put the wine, orange liqueur, and fruit into an airtight container (ideally something easy to shake). Refrigerate it overnight and then taste it to decide if you’d like to add some sugar to sweeten it a bit. If you do, first dissolve the sugar in 1/4 cup of boiling water. Let it cool to room temperature and then add it and shake up your sangria well. You might even want to add a little bit at a time so you can taste it before you add too much.

Notes: Most sangria recipes call for at least 1/4 cup of sugar per one bottle of wine – but I often feel this makes it way too sweet. Sweetness will depend a bit on the type of wine, liquor and orange juice you use, and it is also just a matter of personal preference. Don’t waste your fine wine on sangria, but don’t use 2 buck chuck either!  You can usually get 1.5 liter bottles of a basic Mondavi or Woodbridge Cab or Zinfandel at BevMo for $10 and that is a good enough base. You can blend different a couple of different varietals too.


Mango-Nectarine Sangria

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Mango Nectarine Sangria

Time: This shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes for one batch, but if you are making multiple batches for a party, it can be time consuming to cut up the fruit. It’s also best if you make it 24 hours or so before drinking.

Serves: This recipe yields about 5 large wine goblet sized glasses, or 8 smaller glasses.

Inspired by: I went to Joya in Palo Alto with my good friends Christine and Kristi a couple of months ago to celebrate Kristi’s birthday. The bartender gave us a taste of their peach sangria and it was yummy! It was the first time I had white sangria. I hosted a Spanish themed-party last night and finally got a chance to try something similar. Peaches aren’t in season right now, but I did find nectarines and I love mangos so decided to give that a try with ingredients similar to my red sangria recipe. We all thought this was really yummy. The flavors of the fruit really came through!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of white wine  (see notes below)
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1 mango, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 nectarines, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 lime, cut into thin circles (optional – good to include if the wine is a very low acid wine)
  • ¼ cup mint leaves
  • ¼ cup sugar (optional)

Preparation: Put the Grand Marnier, wine, mango, nectarines and lime in an airtight container (ideally something easy to shake). Refrigerate it overnight and taste it the next day. If you’d like it to be a bit sweeter, dissolve the sugar in boiling water, let it cool to room temperature, add it to your sangria and shake it well. You might want to add a little bit at a time and taste it until it reaches your desired sweetness. A few hours before serving, stir in the mint leaves. Serve chilled.

Notes: Viongier or Torrontes seem like great options for this sangria because of their fabulous aromatics. However, I’ve even tried this with a fairly rich chardonnay and surprisingly, that worked just fine too. Most sangria recipes suggest adding sugar when you combine all the initial ingredients, but I thought it turned out a bit too sweet when I did this the first time. The type of wine and fruit you use will influence the sweetness, and sweetness is also a matter of personal preference. This is why I’ve suggested waiting to add the sugar after it sits overnight so you can get it to your desired sweetness.