Have you ever yearned and longed for something you can’t have?
Sigh – the story of my life.
In this case, I’ve been longing for good old’ spanish Sangria from back home.
I bet you’re thinking: “What’s up with this chick and food?”
Panama was voted by the NY Times as the Number 1 place to visit on 2012. As I am a Panamanian, I can give you a million reasons why you should visit. That would also make me a biased writer.
But, please, do check out the NY Times article, as I’m not making shit up:
I have not been back home in almost two years and there are a lot of things I miss. I miss the house I grew up in and the distinct scent coming out of the kitchen on the first floor; an indication that my palate is about to be satisfied. I miss sitting around the dinner table with my parents and sisters. I miss our blatantly open conversations filled with name calling, complaining and gossiping. I miss my blunt, opinionated, no-nonsense and straight to the point friends. And what is a dinner date with friends in Panama without a refreshingly delicious Sangria.
I have tried Sangria in many different countries and restaurants and none compare to the ones I have tried at several restaurants in Panama City. If I had to describe Sangria in three words, I would use: sweet, sexy, and dangerous.
All the combination of flavors give my palate and interesting tickle. Its taste, is very reminiscent of the passion and fury of a flamenco dancer. The biggest mistake you can do when drinking Sangria, is drinking it too quickly. Due to its sweetness, you do not think of the combination of liquors involved and end up drinking it too fast without realizing, you are intoxicated beyond belief.
Since I couldn’t have what I so badly craved, I asked my friend and Panamanian restaurateur to share the Sangria recipe he uses at his restaurant and I made some minor alterations as I was preparing it.
4 cups of a dry red wine. I like using any cheap Cabernet Sauvignon
5 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup of Orange Juice
1 cup of Ginger Ale
5 ounces of Rum (I prefer Panamanian Ron Abuelo, but I know it is not readily available everywhere in the States).
2 ounces or more of Vermouth
Chopped fruit such as apples and grapes
1. Place the chopped apples and grapes in a pitcher
2. Mix the wine and the sugar in the pitcher until the sugar has dissolved
3. Mix in the orange juice, ginger ale, rum, vermouth and lemon zest
4. Chill for 4 to 6 hours before serving in order to let all the flavors do their “thang”
5. Pour over ice and chopped fruit
6. Close your eyes, enjoy and dream.