TIP: S9E07 "Comparative Wickedness of Civilized and Unenlightened Peoples"
Every once in a while, the TIP for the week is actually something that gives away too much of a joke or a plot point for me to really describe it in detail. The Horatio Cornblower comes to mind as one I couldn’t talk about before it aired.
There are also TIPs related to types of alcohol it is insanely unlikely that anyone reading will get their hands on. Mamajuana and Cobra Whiskey for instance.
This week, we have both. I don’t want to tell you much about the spirit being drank, and I also know that you won’t be able to get your hands on some even if you knew what it was. So instead, we’re just going to use a drink that is referenced by name, though not actually drank by any characters.
With that in mind, let’s get right to it.
The etymology of the word has a minor debate around it. Some argue that it is derived from the sanskrit sakkari, the word for “sweetened wine”.
The etymology of that word is interesting, as always.
It starts with proto-indo-european, ḱorkeh₂: gravel or grit
Which lead to the sanskrit, śárkarā: candy/rock sugar
Which also lead to the latin saccharon: a syrupy liquid that comes from bamboo
Anyway, most people think that’s wrong. Because the more obvious answer is that Sangria comes from the Spanish, Sangre: blood.
The history of the word and the recipe hit a bit of a roadblock, as best I can tell, mostly due to a lack of research. The word "sangria" apparently dates back to the 1800's (though I don't know in what context), but we only know for certain that in 1964, Sangria as we know it was served at the World’s Fair in New York, at a kiosk from Madrid. While that may indicate that it was being served in some capacity in Spain before then, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
There is a precursor to Sangria, a wine punch type cocktail known as Sangaree, which definitely dates back further. However, there is no known link between that drink and the one served at the World’s Fair.
Also, people in Spain basically think of Sangria as a drink for tourists, so I wouldn’t recommend ordering any while you’re on vacation, unless you like getting overcharged for lightly alcoholic Kool-aid.
That said, if you’d like to make something that DOES taste good, and is refreshing, and worth the money. Here’s a recipe I’d go with:
Pour into a pitcher,
- 1 bottle red wine (preferably burgundy, rioja, tempranillo, or something similar)
- ¼ cup brandy (cognac is great, but even like, apple brandy would be great)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 cup chopped, fresh fruit. I’d lean towards stuff that is pretty juicy: Lemons, oranges, pineapple, plums, peaches, nectarines. Ya might even squeeze a few of those before tossing them in, to get that juice out quicker. Though apples and pears are pretty common, I just think they mostly soak up booze, rather than really add their own flavor to it, ya know? I feel the same way about blueberries or grapes. Unless you smash them up, they don’t tend to let go of their juice easily. Anyway, you do you.
Stir this together till the sugar is dissolved then cover and let sit for a little while to marinate. If you’re gonna be drinking it pretty quickly, I see no reason to refrigerate this, as it will marinate better at room temperature. But if you’re gonna let it sit for more than a few hours, put a lid on it and keep it in the fridge.
Serve by pouring into a large glass, filled with ice.
Some of the only sangria that I drink in Atlanta comes from a place called CHURCH. The full name is Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium. I’m not 25 anymore, so I don’t get in there as often as I used to, but the Spiritual Sangria there is the only thing you should drink when you’re there. Also, check out Church Organ Karoke on Wednesdays, they got robes and everything.
That said, they also serve the same stuff at a place I do still frequent, Bone Garden Cantina. I go there for the Mezcal list, but the Sangria is solid.