Jeff’s Corner 8-15-18

“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! It’s summer, it’s humid, and it’s hot. Some ice-cold Sangria, some burgers on the grill, and some good friends sound pretty darn good right about now.

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, mangos, 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 “bloodletting” (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 in 1964 at the Pavilion of Spain. Jerry Jeff Walker first recorded his iconic tune on August 18, 1973, in Luckenbach on the legendary “Viva Terlingua” LP.

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


2 ea lemons, limes, and oranges
2 cups brandy
1 cup sugar
2 bottles inexpensive 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

Crank up the stereo and have some fun…