Any season provides a great excuse for mixing up some sangria but somehow spring and summer are best suited for a punch bowl filled with a mixture of tantalizing liquor, fresh fruits and juices. Besides your favorite iced cold beer or a glass of lemonade, what beverage is really more fun and refreshing than sangria anyway? In this video, I show you step-by-step how to make a Quinta Sangria:
The liquor ingredients in this recipe are admittedly very specific and probably not just hanging around in your refrigerator waiting to be mixed. But here’s why it’s definitely worth the effort to procure the following 3 key liquors:
Croft Pink Port
Straight from Portugal’s Douro Valley, Croft is among the oldest original Porto houses founded in 1588. Under new management in 2001, Croft renovated its winery in Roeda expanding production of not only their world renowned tawnies and vintage ports but most notably creating the world’s first pink port. Even though this pink port is made from the same 6 varieties of grapes just like classic port, its distinct color is the result of light contact with the grape skins rather than the full fermentation on the skins that a ruby typically receives. Croft Pink then undergoes a cold fermentation for 7 days which uniquely preserves the fresh fruit flavors.
Don’t be deceived by the lighter pink…this is still a full bodied port…just that it’s a rose. Distinct honey on the bouquet…sweet yet biting on the palate with ripe cherry and wild berry undertones. This port is best served chilled resulting in a refreshing mouth feel.
Pol Rogers Champagne
Pol Roger Brut Reserve averages no more than $40 a bottle yet was remarkably a favorite with Winston Churchill as well as a staple Champagne with the royal family over the years. This “white foil” vintage, a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay, is the result of more than 160 years of Champagne making heritage. The Pol Roger family is in fact one of only a few Grande Marque Champagne houses that remain family owned and operated. They own close to 50% of the vineyards that supply production needs and once blended, each bottle is hand riddled in the cellars deep below Epernay chateau. In the words of Jean-Paul Kauffman in his book Voyage en Champagne, “Pol Roger is a gentleman’s Champagne. This refinement reflects a whole lifestyle…a soul created by the union of a family’s spirit and the character of a vineyard.”
It takes patience and a cultivated palate to truly appreciate fine distilled liquors…especially cognac, France’s distilled beverage of choice. A type of brandy, cognac is made following exacting standards…starting with white grapes harvested in October, distilled by the end of March, and aged in oak casks for varying lengths of time depending on the color and flavor desired. There are many fine brands to choose from but Camus is unique. The last independent family owned distillery with a 150 year heritage, Camus’ doubled matured Ile de Re used in this recipe has fresh and lively marine aromas on the nose leading to an overall bouquet of spicy honey along with hints of sweet blossoms and toasty barrel. Your palate definitely revels in the mellowness of double maturation with orange most readily apparent. Subtler hints of cherry and pear linger long on the palate.
Video courtesy of Steve Mirsky. Photo courtesy of Today’s Nest