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
When it comes to salads, you can become stuck in a tragic rut. Different ingredients may go into the bowl, but do you just put the same dressing on them, night after night after night? Even the best salad dressing or vinaigrette can become a bit tired. You need variety in your life. Of course, you don’t need disruption either. You want need a vinaigrette with a difference that is quickly made and long enjoyed.
Now, it does happen to be fall and we do have apple cider readily available. Here’s an apple cider vinaigrette that you are sure to love. And what do you put it on? Boston lettuce with a bevy of pear slices, perhaps with some finely diced scallions and herbs, does it for Suzen and me. Nothing can top the sweet, delicate flavor of a fall pear. Literally, pearing the wonder of fresh apple cider and pears is a seasonal experience that makes you forget that all those leaves are gone. Or waiting to be raked. Or waiting for the next storm to toss them far, far away.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Yield: 1 ½ cups
- 1 cup of apple cider
- 3 tablespoons fresh shallots, diced
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
- ½ cup olive oil
Place the cider, shallots, vinegar and mustard in a bowl. Whisk to mix. Gradually pour in the oil while continuing to whisk. Create an emulsified mixture and use pour immediately over your salad ingredients.
Source: A great website I can’t find again. Sorry, Brian.