Another historic recipe from our recent trip to Saint Augustine, Florida! I’m digging all the Spanish history of the region, since before moving to Florida the extent of my knowledge regarding Spaniards was all gleaned from watching Inigo Montaya in The Princess Bride.
Anyway, here’s a little background on the famous Spanish Sangria:
The high water table in Saint Augustine made the digging of wells a fairly simple task, but assuring clean water from those wells was rather difficult. To solve the murky issue (haha, see what I did there?), settlers would use lava rock – basically the ballast from their ships – to filter the water for drinking.
First, they carved out a bowl in the top of the lava rock, called a “pila”. After drawing water from the well, they transferred the water to the porous lava rock for filtering, and the muddy water would then drain through the rock to a clay pot underneath. While this method made water drinkable, it didn’t always make it, shall we say, tasty?
As a result, the Spaniards settling in the New World drank far more rum and wine than they did just plain ol’ water. To enhance the flavor and kill off any remaining bacteria in the water, wine, fruit and spices were commonly mixed together to form what today is known as Sangria!
This is a recipe that was found recorded in an early explorers journal. For a taste of one of “the original” Sangrias, lifted from the pages of history, give this cocktail a try!
How To Make It
2 bottles of red table wine
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
8 whole cloves
1 teaspoon allspice, ground
2 cinnamon sticks
2 lemons, sliced
2 cups orange juice
2 oranges, sliced
1 apple, sliced
Simmer the spices, water and sugar, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a syrupy consistency, add the remaining ingredients. This recipe yields 10-14 servings.
Like Sangria? Check out the Fresh Citrus and Strawberry Sangria recipe I made for my daughters Winnie the Pooh themed baby shower!