Cherry Garcia Sangria!
Here is something you probably don't about me, I was a Deadhead. I don't want to incriminate myself too much, but there was a time in my life when I often took a week off work to go see the Grateful Dead play a 3 night show in Vegas, or San Fransisco or where ever they were going. I lived for the next adventure and it became a way of life. A wonderful time in my life.
After lead singer Jerry Garcia passed away in 1995, life changed. One way I dealt with the changes was by collecting anything and all things Jerry Garcia, as he was always my favorite musician and character in the band.
Among the many treasures I acquired, was this special artisan collection of tea tins featuring the art work of Jerry himself. The Republic of Tea paid tribute to Jerry with the collectible tea tins featuring original art work by Jerry. I don't think you can buy them any more, but you can get Jerry Cherry Black tea, and a whole mess of other delicious blends of organic teas.
Yes, these collectors item tea tins expired long ago, (2008 to be exact), but I still love the art work!
Anyway, let's get to the Sangria. It's Summer time, it's hot, and there is nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold frosty glass of fruit filled red wine. We were looking for something to serve guests for a Saturday afternoon get together utilizing red wine.....here is the recipe we ended up with.........
Cherry Garcia Sangria (printable)
Makes 2 large pitchers (depending on how much fruit you use)
2 cups chilled Cherry flavored tea1 bottle of red wine (we used inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon)
8 oz ginger ale
1/4 cup triple sec
1/4 cup blackberry brandy
1 cinnamon stick
1 small pear, sliced
1 small apple, sliced
1 peach and or nectarine (optional)
1 handful of frozen cherries, blackberries, strawberries or grapes
Make ahead: Prepare 2 cups of cherry flavored tea and chill until cold.
Pour wine into a large pitcher, or split into 2 pitchers. Add the triple sec and brandy, then squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and orange into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (remove the seeds), add the whole cinnamon stick, sliced apples, pears, and whatever other fruit you want to use.
Chill for several hours or overnight. The longer you can leave the sangria to chill and marinate in the frig, the better it will taste.
Tip: We poured the Sangria mixture (minus the fruit) into ice cube trays to make sangria ice cubes! A wonderful way to keep the drinks cold without diluting with water when they melt. They also make delicious adult Popsicles!
Just before serving, add the ginger ale and chilled tea and stir. Garnish with fresh mint and frozen berries. Regular ice can be added, but a few of the Sangria ice cubes are even better than plain ice!