Sangria is a word that conjures up languid summer evenings. Some tapas, a pitcher of the fruity liquid, and a comfy chair. After two or three glasses, the world is fine.
Living in the Hudson Valley, we are surrounded by apples, which are often part of the fruit of our summer sangrias. But, for this Thanksgiving, we went further, using the apples and cider in a holiday sangria that is every bit as refreshing as those summer varieties.
This recipe has everything you might want: sparkling wine, fresh apples, apple cider, some cognac for a kick, and pomegranate seeds for a dash of holiday color.
By the way, it tastes sublime. Apple flavor mixed with sparkling wine. Not too sweet, because there is no sugar added, as many sangria recipes suggest you do. And it is pretty on cold winter night as the red pomegranate seeds slide past the slices of apple in the glass.
For Christmas or New Years, this is a simple yet distinctive beverage to begin your celebrations.
Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria
Yield: serves 8
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ½ cup cognac
- 3 cups apple cider
- 1 750 ml bottle of Cava or other sparkling wine [but do try Cava first]
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds for garnish
Add the apples to a large pitcher, reserving about ½ cup for garnishing. Add the cognac, apple cider, and chilled Cava.
Stir gently to mix. Refrigerate until ready to use, then add ice to the pitcher.
Pour into ice filled glasses, topping each glass with a couple of slices of apple and several pomegranate seeds.
Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-53MM Macro Lens, F/2.8, 1/100th second, ISO 1250
I am not a fan of “adulterated” food and beverages. A flavored tequila? I’ll make my own.
Not any more. Tanteo is a new firm with a line of flavored tequilas that you must, must try: jalapeno, cocoa, and tropical.
Jalapeno tequila? You are thinking what I did: kitsch, ugly flavor, waste of money.
“The best places are serving it. My customers love it. You will, too.” My local liquor store is literally around the corner from me. I don’t have to cross a street to get to the smallish store with the smiling Indian entrepreneur. He’s always so calm and, in a tight space, he always seems to have those very latest thing.
So, over time, I have come to trust him. If he says try it, I do.
You can just sip Tanteo Jalapeno. Slowly. Your mouth fills with a full tequila blow and then comes the aftertaste, strong and surely jalapeno yet not overwhelming. Suzen and several of her staff have sampled it here at Cooking by the Book, all with the same reaction: eyes that open wide in surprise and smile that says, “Yes.”
On the neck of the bottle, there is one of those little pamphlets with recipes. The Jalapeno Margarita was my first test. I did, I admit, take a hard look at this. The only booze here is the jalapeno tequila: no triple sec, no orange liquor. Just the tequila.
I made a batch for our Saturday dinner, which happens to have been guacamole and chips. Suzen had done a baby shower in the afternoon and we had eaten a full meal at 3PM. So, at 8PM, we were hungry but we just wanted a little something. Chips and margarita sounded fine to both of us.
Chips and a jalapeno margarita were oh so fine.
I really, truly, sincerely encourage you to try this tequila and this beverage. It’s exceptional. Do not, not, over pour the tequila. You really want to follow the proportions here. And, in full disclosure, I made mine with lemon and not lime juice. Did I miss something? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out next Saturday!
- 2 ounces Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¾ ounce agave nectar
Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Vigorously shake to chill. Pour into an ice-filled glass, possible rimmed with salt or sugar.
Source: Tanteo Tequila Company