Whether you’re slurping soup from the best cart in Chiang Mai or staring down a heaping helping of homemade pasta from nonna (someone’s nonna, anyway), partaking of the freshest, most delicious local fare is essential to becoming one with where you are.
While there’s no substitute for experiencing a cuisine in deep and up close, recreating a region’s signature dishes can bring a taste of its culinary tradition into your home—and whet your appetite in advance of your next trip. In Recipes from the Road, we help you do just that.
The Perfect Sangria
There is nothing quite as rewarding as sitting back with a tall, refreshing glass of Spanish Sangria after a long day of biking through the endless vineyards and ever-changing landscapes of Rioja.
Apples, pears, peaches, bananas or any fruit you prefer
3 L red wine
1/4 kg white sugar
1 L orange juice
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 L Fanta, or any other lemon-flavoured carbonated drink (e.g. 7-Up)
Rum, vodka, gin or similar
Chop the fruit and put it all in a big bowl (except the bananas), add about a litre of wine and some sugar. Taste it. Stir for a while until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit has turned slightly red from the wine. Taste it again, to note the difference. Slowly add some orange juice and the juice of two lemons, stirring well. Add the lemon soda. Taste it once more.
If you like the flavour so far, continue adding wine, sugar (to taste), orange juice and lemon soda. This is the key step. It takes a lot of practice and experience to get the right amounts in the bowl.
Finally, add the cinnamon sticks and liquor, then taste the mix one last time. Every mix is very personal, and everyone has his or her secrets.
Just before serving, chop the bananas and add them to the mix. You want to do this at the end to keep the bananas from going soft and ugly.
Depending on the purpose of the sangria, you might want to make it in the morning and leave it out under the hot sun for the day, which will make it much more potent. (This requires Spanish-style sun, of course!)
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