Jeff’s Corner 12-20-18

Ho Ho Ho and a big bottle of Sangria, especially since today is National Sangria Day. But wait, hold the weddin’. Don’t buy a bottle, let’s make it from scratch with our sweet GCV Grand Rouge. Here’s a recipe and fun story from a previous Jeff’s Corner to get us in the mood for lots of holiday cheer…

“When friends come for Saturday night,
It’s nice to make up some Sangria wine,
It’s organic and it comes from the vine,
It’s also legal and it gets you so high.”

Great words, Jerry Jeff! I doubt there would be a National Sangria Day if not for your legendary tune praising its virtues.

Sangria, as we know from the song, is a simple concoction of red wine, fruit, brandy, and some sort of sweetener. The type of fruit is pretty much limited by our imagination, but oranges, lemons, limes, berries, peaches, mangoes, pineapple, and bananas are all good options. Sugar, honey, fruit nectar, and orange juice are all good sweeteners.

The origins of Sangria date back over 2000 years to Spain, when the Romans were conquering the Iberian peninsula. Between lots of “blood letting” (actually a loose translation of Sangria) the Romans planted vineyards. The wine from those vines was much safer to drink than water, dark red like blood, and mixed with fruit for sweetness.

Versions of Sangria first appeared in America not long after the revolution, but its official introduction was at the New York World’s Fair at the Spanish Pavilion in 1964. Jerry Jeff Walker first recorded his iconic tune on August 18, 1973, in Luckenbach on the legendary “Viva Terlingua” LP.

Here’s a good recipe that can easily be customized. Be creative, add your imagination, reel in your compadres, and stoke the fire. This is about 6-12 servings, depending on your friends…


2 ea lemons, limes, and oranges
1 package frozen cranberries
2 cups brandy
1 cup sugar
2 bottles GCV Grand Rouge or other red wine
2 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice


-Chill fruit, brandy, wine, and orange juice.
-Slice the lemon, lime, and orange into thin rounds and put into a large Mr. Kool-Aid pitcher.
-Add brandy and sugar and chill in fridge for 2 hours to develop flavors.
-When ready to drink, lightly mull (crush) the fruit and add wine and orange juice.
-Adjust the sweetness with more wine or sugar.
-Add cranberries for a festive holiday garnish.

Crank up the stereo and have lots of fun…