Saturday, December 7, 2013

24 Days to Christmas: Day 7

Day 7: Favorite Holiday Drink

They say that St. Nicholas dropped gold into the stockings of three sisters who could not afford a dowry; the stockings were hanging by the fire to dry, and the gold was melted by the fire and formed a ball in the toe of each stocking.

The legend goes, people put oranges in stockings to represent those gold balls.

Few people today get oranges in their stockings (I always got a chocolate orange in mine), but to me, oranges and other citrus fruits still signify Christmas.

That's me, at the sangria station for one of my
holiday parties.
That's why I think sangria is the perfect holiday party drink.  It's citrusy, easy, and it serves lots of people. Plus, the red color says holiday to me.

Here's my holiday party sangria recipe: 

For about 20-25 people:
On the morning of the party: Slice up a couple of oranges, a lemon, a grapefruit, and a Granny Smith apple. Put those in a bowl and pour brandy over to cover (you can use the cheap brandy) and put it in the fridge.

About 2-3 hours before the party, put about a half cup of sugar in a half cup of water and microwave it for 1-2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved - you've got simple syrup. Spoon the fruit and about a cup of the brandy into a large pitcher or punch bowl. Add the simple syrup. Add 1 1/2 cups orange juice, and 2 large bottles of a cheap, dry red wine (like St. Genevieve Cabernet Sauvignon). Put the whole thing in the fridge until shortly before party time. Just before the guests arrive, add a liter of club soda. Here's the deal - you don't have to be exacting with the proportions or ingredients. You can use different kinds of fruit, substitute cranberry juice for orange juice ... whatever you want.

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