loss: nothing is certain

6/21/09 14:11

It’s been a bit of a long blogless stretch, but there just seemed to be more important things to focus on than throwing out a few hundred words. Sadly, death has been a constant theme this month: Iran protests, the metro tragedy, a friend’s loss, and the number of “celebrity” deaths keeps rising.* I’m not normally a news hound, but I’ve added it into my daily routine.

In any case, I haven’t been up to much on the home front. I did check out Friday night happy hour at The EFN Lounge/Motley Bar and got out for a bit this weekend to people watch over dinner and drinks in Adams Morgan, but for the most part I stayed in and attempted to catch up on the Spring Cleaning that is clearly long overdue.** My flickr and brightkite streams probably made the weekend look only slightly more interesting than it was.

About the only foodie thing I did was to make some Sangria and I remembered that I haven’t posted the recipe I use yet. It’s from America’s Test Kitchen, though I embellish it from time to time. I have heard that pre-mixed sangria mixes are out there and do the job just as well, so YMMV, but this recipe is pretty darn easy:

The Best Sangria***

16th St NW & Irving St NW, Washington, DC 20009, United States


  • 2 large oranges, washed (one orange sliced, the other juiced)
  • 1 large lemon, washed and sliced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup triple sec
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle inexpensive fruity medium-bodied red wine, chilled


  1. Add sliced orange and lemon and sugar to large pitcher; mash gently with wooden spoon until fruit releases some juice, but is not totally crushed, and sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in orange juice, triple sec, and wine; refrigerate for at least 2–and up to 8–hours.
  3. Before serving, add ice and stir briskly to distribute fruit and pulp; serve immediately.


One large juiced orange produces about ½ cup of juice, if you wanted to substitute that step. I sometimes add in pear-flavored liqueur in addition to the triple sec, and I’ve tasted it at 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours, and it really is best to give it at least 6 before serving. Letting it sit overnight is fine, but if you plan to enjoy it over a few days as I do, fish out the orange and lemon slices after the first day–the peels start to impart a bitterness that is easy to ignore at first, but gets worse over time. I’ve yet to experiment with different fruit add-ins because oranges and lemons are far easier to slice up than sectioning other types of fruit.****

* Please don’t start that stupid “it happens in threes” or “who’s next?” crap here, just don’t.

** I’ve come to terms with my clutter issues and I’m in a good place with them, but there are times that I look at my place and think, “Ye gods, a crazy person must live here!”

*** They arrogantly call many of their recipes “The Best _____” because they try tons of different methods before arriving at the one they settle on.

**** Seriously, I’ve seen sangria with grapes floating in it. Not only does that seem redundant, but have you ever tried slicing a big bunch of grapes?!

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4 Responses

  1. Fredo says:

    “Please don’t start that stupid “it happens in threes” or “who’s next?” crap here, just don’t.”

    I think that was disproved yesterday anyway.

    “Seriously, I’ve seen sangria with grapes floating in it. Not only does that seem redundant, but have you ever tried slicing a big bunch of grapes?!”

    I have two words for you: mezzaluna knife. Seems to work pretty well on grape tomatoes at Chop’t!

  2. justjp says:

    Sangria, what my summer is missing. Great call!

  3. gilahi says:

    Take the lids from 2 plastic containers (like margarine tubs or those little containers that the Whole Foods deli uses), place one topside-down on the counter. Fill it with grapes. Now take the other one and invert it over the grapes so that the insides of both lids are in contact with the grapes. Press lightly and, using a very sharp knife, slice horizontally between the two lids. Voila! Gobs of grapes sliced in half in one motion.
    .-= latest entry: Many Thanks (and a couple of suggestions) =-.

  4. Fearless says:

    On Saturday evening I had the first of what I am sure will be many sangrias this summer. Such an undervalued drink.

    July must be better than June. Right?
    .-= latest entry: I hope everything is still good… =-.

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