Elixir for the Soul

This is a blog about sophisticated drinking, because alcohol doesn't have to be a poison, it can be a medicine for the soul.

Shawn, 22. Currently studying foreign language at university in China. Researching about cocktails is one of my passions, and I hope this blog can introduce others to the true way of imbibing. Every drink on this page is mixed, tasted and photographed by me.

Feel free to ask.

Sangria
I won’t give a specific recipe for this drink, because there isn’t a fixed one; there is a total freedom on the ingredients and measures when mixing a Sangria, but you do need to know the basics. This popular wine punch almost always contain a wine, a spirit, a sweetener and seasonal fruits.
Wine: The main ingredient, everything else depends on the choice of wine. Originally red wine was used, a Spanish dry red would be ideal, but you can choose any of your favourite. Using a white wines gives it a lighter, crisp flavour, and a see-through colour, making the fruits more visible. In which case the drink would be called Sangria Blanca.
Sweetener: This is a must, some kind of sweetener is required to balance out the driness from the wine and sourness from the citrus fruits. Traditionally it’s sweetened with white sugar, but why being so boring eh? Try mix some liqueurs together to complicate its flavour, perhaps Curaçao, triple sec, or even cherry brandy…
Spirit: Although not compulsory, most people would feel the need to raise the strength a little. It’s usually brandy, but do experiment with other spirits such as applejack and calvados; whereas a lighter spirit tend to work better with a white wine Sangria such as gin, rum and other eau de vies.
Fruits: No rules on what you can or cannot use, anything you like and anything in season. Some popular choices are oranges, lemons, limes, apples, blueberries, strawberries, mangos etc.
Mixer: Like soda or ginger ale, this is not at all needed unless you prefer a lighter, watered down Sangria with some effervescence.
I suggest mix everything together in a punch bowl or pitcher, don’t add ice yet, and leave the punch in the fridge for half an hour before serving, allowing the fruit flavours to sink in. If serving to a large group of people, use a large ice cube to keep it cool without the fast dilution.

Sangria

I won’t give a specific recipe for this drink, because there isn’t a fixed one; there is a total freedom on the ingredients and measures when mixing a Sangria, but you do need to know the basics. This popular wine punch almost always contain a wine, a spirit, a sweetener and seasonal fruits.

Wine: The main ingredient, everything else depends on the choice of wine. Originally red wine was used, a Spanish dry red would be ideal, but you can choose any of your favourite. Using a white wines gives it a lighter, crisp flavour, and a see-through colour, making the fruits more visible.
In which case the drink would be called Sangria Blanca.

Sweetener: This is a must, some kind of sweetener is required to balance out the driness from the wine and sourness from the citrus fruits. Traditionally it’s sweetened with white sugar, but why being so boring eh? Try mix some liqueurs together to complicate its flavour, perhaps Curaçao, triple sec, or even cherry brandy…

Spirit: Although not compulsory, most people would feel the need to raise the strength a little. It’s usually brandy, but do experiment with other spirits such as applejack and calvados; whereas a lighter spirit tend to work better with a white wine Sangria such as gin, rum and other eau de vies.

Fruits: No rules on what you can or cannot use, anything you like and anything in season. Some popular choices are oranges, lemons, limes, apples, blueberries, strawberries, mangos etc.

Mixer: Like soda or ginger ale, this is not at all needed unless you prefer a lighter, watered down Sangria with some effervescence.

I suggest mix everything together in a punch bowl or pitcher, don’t add ice yet, and leave the punch in the fridge for half an hour before serving, allowing the fruit flavours to sink in. If serving to a large group of people, use a large ice cube to keep it cool without the fast dilution.