Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sangria Blanca

Yesterday, I related a little story about my “modest” consumption of Sangria (Here comes Little Miss Goody Two-Shoes!). Ah, but things were different when I invited my daughter and two friends to a summer lunch! Setting my nibblies and drinks table under the trees in my former garden, I brought out a pitcher of Sangria. I’m a light drinker, but the afternoon was hot and the Sangria was cold. To my surprise, everyone declined to drink. I expected my guests to love Sangria as much as I do, so I’d quadrupled the recipe. Moreover, I’d made so much that by the time I filled the pitcher with fruit, wine, orange-flavored liqueur, and ice, there was no room for the necessary club soda to dilute it.

My garden and apartment were minuscule, but ...

I nonetheless called them "Versailles"

If you can't "find" happiness and contentment, create it!
Click on the photos to enlarge them
It frankly never occurred to me to pour a modest glass of the powerful stuff and add ice and soda, so I downed the contents of the pitcher straight. Sitting in the sun as we were, it was so refreshing and tasted so delicious that I had another. And another. Weaving unsteadily into the house, I set out the first course for lunch - Chef Gunther Gugelmeyer’s Chilled Rhubarb Soup (see my post of April 16, 2011). Calling everyone to the larger table I’d set indoors, I thought it might be a nice idea to rest my head a wee while - beside my soup bowl. 

My friends and mortified daughter walked me to bed, where I immediately sprawled, snoring loudly. My guests found the notes I’d hidden in a drawer so I wouldn't forget anything, and used them to cobble together their own meals. I awoke after everyone had left. When I think of Sangria Blanca, I recall the words of the late, great Mae West: “I used to be Snow White, but I’ve drifted.”

Sangria Blanca:

½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice, chilled 
One 26-oz. (715 mL) bottle dry white wine, chilled
½ c. freshly squeezed orange juice, chilled
¼ c. orange-flavored liqueur
1 lemon, unpeeled, sliced 
Ice cubes, as required
Club soda, chilled, as required
Strawberries and sliced orange twists, as garnish
Mint sprigs, as garnish

In a small saucepan over low heat, dissolve sugar in lemon juice. Chill and pour into large pitcher. Stir in wine, orange juice, orange-flavored liqueur, lemon slices, and ice cubes. Top with club soda. Pour into tall glasses garnished with strawberries, orange twists, and/or mint sprigs. Yields about 8 servings. 


  1. LOL!!! This sounds like a fantastic drink to share with my girl friends. ... I will definitely try it and I do have a shady tree we can sit under. Love the Mae West comment.

    Thanks Nicole!

    Teresa Lees

    PS I'm having difficulty posting using there an easier way?

    1. Dear Teresa: I always appreciate it when readers take the time to drop me a note.

      You've inspired me to post a photo of the "secret garden" I had a few years ago - a hidden place behind a high brick wall on a busy street in an even busier neighborhood. My shrubs, flowers, and trees attracted songbirds throughout the day. Over time, I installed a small goldfish pond and waterfall, beside which I read and listened to music under the shade of the trees. I'll post a couple of photos as soon as I finish this reply.

      You probably posted your note underneath this recipe, which is why I've read it here. Yes, posting under "Anonymous" certainly works, but I always appreciate having a first name. Your other alternative is to post is directly to Unfortunately, I have no means of replying if you do that, because Google keeps your email address confidential - even from MY prying eyes! So posting a comment under a recipe really is the best way.

      Because my readership is worldwide, the one thing I'd love to know is from which city or country you're writing.

      And now I'll post a few shots of my lovely little garden and pond! When I moved to that small place several years ago, the ground was rock hard from lack of water, heaped with garbage, broken pots, and even a dead, discarded Christmas tree. My garden was very small, but I firmly believe it is possible to create an oasis of beauty and tranquility almost anywhere - xox Nicole


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