"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Sangria Patito

by Julie Tilsner on August 17, 2007

in Libations, Minor Miracles, Dinner

I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon.

I’ve never been to Las Vegas.

I’ve never been downhill skiing.

I’ve never made a sangria.

Until last night. With friends coming over, I went overboard and decided that since I was making the paella again, AND gazpacho, the only possible beverage option was a nice sangria.

So armed with just a rudimentary idea of what was involved, I turned to the great god Google and asked for guidance.

I was offered many fine options. One in particular, stood out, because it cited “Friends in Spain.”

Conchi’s Sangria,” from all.recipes.com, called for red wine, sugar, lots of different kinds of fruit and then a carbonated beverage. I didn’t know about that last part.

Nor did I feel that a dinner party of four would be up to 48 servings of sangria, even if Ramalee and I were both drinking full bore, as we’re apt to do at dinner parties. So I decided to cut the recipe in half. More or less.

And I decided to use a different kind of wine, because what did I know from sangria?  I found a nice white zinfandel that was in fact infused with a lovely pinkish-hue. Some recipes called for rose instead of red wine. This looked rose enough to me. Aren’t rose and zinfandel the same thing? I am ignorant of such matters.

Before I tell you how to make Sangria Patito, however, I have to jump ahead and say that despite my ignorance, despite my fooling around with the recipe and my history of dramatic failure in these attempts, this sangria shocked everyone.

Think: Wine cooler with mangoes, peaches, apples, bananas and cinnamon, and infused with rose water. Sweet yet refreshing, with an exotic, warm afterglow.

We enjoyed it greatly. And as we sat outside, drinking our sangria and eating my paella (which turned out even better this second time!!) and ignoring our children, my daughter put a little rubber ducky into the punch bowl and made the sign you see below.

Catchtheduck Hence the name, Sangria Patito. All that flavor, packed into a little duck.

Here’s how you make it. With apologies to Conchi.

three 750 ml bottles of Barefoot White Zinfandel (Trader Joes, of course!)

1/2 cup sugar

Two peaches, peeled and sliced, chopped, whatever.

One banana, peeled and sliced.

One small apple, peeled and sliced

One leftover mango. Use what you can, sliced and peeled.

One cinnamon stick, slightly cracked with a heavy object, to release its aroma. Or something. (the original recipe says “crushed,” but when I “crushed” it with my pestle, I had a lot of splintered cinnamon, which I  felt would be problematic to drinkers.)

One liter of Fresca. That’s right. Fresca. They still carry this. Find it. Use it.

Put everything together EXCEPT the Fresca in a big bowl or pitcher. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least six hours.

When you’re ready to serve, stir in the Fresca.

Apparently you don’t have to add ice cubes, like I did.

One glass of this and you won’t care that it doesn’t really look like sangria. Salud!

Stay tuned for the tale of Julie’s Kick-Ass Gazpacho.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine August 18, 2007 at 7:06 pm

That looks like sangria I would drink! What a lovely night


bad home cook August 20, 2007 at 1:40 pm

Here’s a snippet from Wikipedia on Fresca that addresses what I was getting at by using it in the first place:
For years, Fresca maintained somewhat of a cult following, similar to Tab, consisting of people who had grown up with the drink, yet it didn’t obtain major market appeal. Around the turn of the century (2000), however, Fresca grew in popularity somewhat organically, enough so that it was sufficiently popular for Coca-Cola to take notice.
Try it, Holler! (with or without the Fresca – 7-up should be fine). But be sure and use the little duck…


holler August 20, 2007 at 1:22 pm

That sounds brilliant and a good one for my hen night (well one of them)! The duck was funny!
Can I ask what fresca is?


Stafford August 22, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Good job, though I’ll take my Fresca (American Ting) straight-no-chaser. Sounds like a convivial feast, ah I miss the Village (ya hear me Julie and Julia and all y’all?).


Great Cooking Recipes August 31, 2007 at 11:27 pm

Great Cooking Recipes

Source: Great Chefs of San Francisco, Avon Books, 1984 Chef: Bruce


Chris March 29, 2008 at 10:38 am

Cut a watermelon in half- lengthwise- and scoop out the watermelon add the watermelon to the Sangria and serve in the scooped out melon.


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