Sangria Recipe

Spring Sangria and a Giveaway!

April 29, 2010 · 58 comments

Thank you, thank you! You guys are the best. Really. I never thought the day would come when I’d pour our life savings into a restaurant, and I especially never thought I’d get such passionate, encouraging comments and emails from so many readers of this here little ol’ food blog.

Truly, thank you. And if you live near by and see us building, painting, or tearing our hair out, please say hi–although I may throw a paintbrush in your hand. But I promise, it’ll be followed by a tall glass of spring sangria. Anyway, things moved forward this week–meeting with architects, signing the purchase agreement, working on a logo and seeking out financing. Check out these super-talented architects we met, Marites and Keith. They’re a husband and wife team who designed beautiful restaurants around the Bay Area.

I was trying to come up with a way to show my appreciation to all of you, and I decided a giveaway was in order. A pretty sweet giveaway, if you ask me. Win a $50 gift certificate to My Wines Direct! I originally said I would give away a copy of one of my favorite cookbooks, Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food, so if you win, I’ll give you a choice: either the cookbook or the $50 gift certificate. Alice’s recipes are so approachable, so unique, and yet when you read them, you kind of think, “Huh, why didn’t I ever do that?” At least that’s what I think. But you know, I’m a little weird sometimes.

I’m going to make you work a little though. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment by 11pm Monday night, telling me something you’ve seen in a restaurant lately that really wowed you. Was it the ball jar lanterns? The comfy couches? Wines on tap? What would make you stop and say, “Now that’s a great idea!” I’ll pick a comment at random as the winner. I know, the giveaway is a tad self-serving. But hey, this is our first restaurant, we need help…

Now for the sangria. It began with an email from my good friend Suzanne, who works for My Wines Direct in New York. She needed a sangria recipe, and I had one. A luscious, not-too-sugary, harmonious blend of spring fruits and wine. Did I tell you Alejandro was a bartender? Not your average beer-pouring bartender either. He was the kind who’d pour you a drink you’d never forget. The kind who invented drinks, and had them published in the Village Voice. Alejandro helped me with this spring sangria, which features ripe strawberries, kiwi, pear brandy, a splash of limoncello and fruity pinot noir. For even more umph, pair it with a California cab or even a petit verdot (though you may want to add a touch of orange or apple juice as well).

When I told Suzanne about it, she jumped for joy because she could pair my recipe with her Cinco de Mayo wine pack. (Disclaimer here, I in no way get paid by My Wines Direct. This all came about from a conversation with a friend. And, I have no proof that she actually jumped. I made that part up.) Cheers Suzanne, we miss you out here…

Spring Sangria with Strawberries and Kiwi
Makes about one liter

1 bottle California pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon or petit verdot
1 1/2 cups of strawberries, sliced thin
2 kiwi, sliced thin
1/2 cup pear brandy
1/4 cup limoncello
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup water

Bring water to a boil and add sugar and turn off heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and let cool to room temperature. In a medium-sized bowl, combine brandy, simple syrup and sliced fruit. Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge.

Take the fruit out of the fridge about 30 minutes before using. In a large bowl, mix fruit with wine and limoncello. Stir, and garnish with a strawberry.

Where I shopped:
Strawberries, Kiwi: Berkeley Farmers’ Market

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Judith R. Gordon May 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Last week I was celebrating in Las Vegas and had lunch @ the “Paris” Hotel. I loved the fact that for a serving a bread they put a small baguette with a small round of soft butter. The warm bread and (room temp.) butter made the meal so much more fun. I hate fightening with cold butter.
Good luck with the restaurant….


Talia May 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I’m having a hard time with giving you my thoughts on the restaurant – as an architect I just want to give you the full professional run down based on your concept and location and food … but by way of a quick comment here… i love old timber being reused in exciting new ways. i recently saw some wood from old floor joists in a building that had been cut into strips and used to create wall paneling. the spaces between the strips shone from back lighting behind. It was laid out on three sides of a little outdoor garden area and was really gorgeous.


Allison May 4, 2010 at 7:15 pm

i was just at a restaurant that gave away a free pulled pork sandwich with every beer. it was amazing. probably not helpful to you, but amazing nonetheless…


bethh May 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm

It’s too late for the drawing, but I wanted to share something I was wowed by: at Cesar over on Piedmont I had an amazing dessert quite a while ago called Mel e Mate (I think). It’s a bit of cheese – similar to a ricotta – with honey and some toasted almonds. I made a copy of it by baking a tart pan full of ricotta (in theory, drying/solidifying it, I don’t know that it really worked), then drizzled it with honey, scattered hazelnuts, and small slices of super local fresh plums. The people I served it to STILL rave about it.

I’m very stoked for your restaurant! I sent a link about it to friends and they said you should have named it “the restaurant that serves the food that MC and JC would eat every day if they could.” It’s a bit long, though. ;-)


Drorit May 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm

At Ortolan in L.A. I had an $18 egg. Not eggs. An egg. It was custardy scrambled egg wih chives and (probably $18 eoth of caviar) on top. Here’s the clincher: It was served in the eggshell! In a fabulous silver dish made for an egg and you used a teeny tiny silver spoon to get at the egg with.


Is All I’m Gonna Say.


muffin May 9, 2010 at 4:39 pm

At a wonderful local restaurant they thing I noticed and LOVED is they make everything from scratch and local produce…

BUT the clincher is their freshly baked bread for the table as well as buns for burgers and so on…every bit of bread or breading was made in house and is simply delicious!


Ms Pink July 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Agh! I’m making this for a party tomorrow night and the only pear brandy available in our stores was $40! Can i use something else instead?


amex blue sky April 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I can’t wait for MW3 to come out for PC!


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