For Brunch, Linner, Happy Hour and Game Day Parties
I was bred in the great white north, also known as Minnesota. In that part of the country in the 1960s and ’70s it was popular to serve cocktails at all hours of the day, even for breakfast. It was a special treat for me and my sister to be able to swizzle drinks and “serve” the adults. This peculiar youth cocktail service was highlighted in the recent television series ‘Mad Men.’ As I aged, Mom would allow a tiny taste of wine during a holiday meal.
My family relocated to Missouri in the late 1970s, where I graduated high school, married and settled. Recently Dear Hubs and I took a road trip to Minneapolis and Duluth, where we gaped, slack jawed, at the breakfast menus of the local restaurants. Every menu, and I mean every menu, included alcoholic breakfast beverages. Plural. And not just Bloody Mary’s (although the Bloody Mary offerings at one Minneapolis eatery included at least a dozen varieties). I passed on the Bloody Mary’s, never having been a huge fan. But if we are talking about brunch for a special occasion, make mine Sangria, please.
Score a touchdown with my Christmas Party Sangria. The warm flavors of cinnamon and spice are transformed into a cool, boozy refreshment when served on the rocks. Fortified with spiced rum and cinnamon sticks, it is so bloody good – and without a hint of Bloody Mary! Try it with a Merlot, Apothic Dark (one of my go-to wines) or a Spanish red. My Christmas Party Sangria recipe is provided below, but first this word from our sponsor:
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Christmas Party Sangria
2 bottles Merlot or other dark red wine
1/2 cup sugar
10 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 cups spiced rum
4 to 6 oranges, sliced
2 handfuls fresh cranberries
1 liter ginger ale
Garnishes: Fresh Orange Slices, Red and Green Apple Slices, Sliced Starfruit
Directions: In a large pot, combine wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and cloves. Gently simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Add rum, orange slices and cranberries. Pour into a sealable pitcher or container. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, fill glasses with ice and add an ounce of ginger ale to each. Top with Sangria and stir (or as I like to call it, swizzle). Add garnishes as desired.