Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dog Days --Sangria Days

Whew! It is the dog days of summer! I love summer, but the heat during these days in July and August can be down right oppressive.

While many believe the expression, "dog days of summer," comes from the lethargy dogs exhibit on the hottest days, the expression really is quite ancient. The Romans named these days the dog days because of the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star. Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation, Canis Major, or large dog (one of Orion's hunting dogs). Can you see him here?

From Wikipedia
Yeahhhhh, well.... No? I couldn't either. Okay, so here it is all sketched out for us at night:

From Wikipedia
Weeeeell, okay, I guess I kind of see it.

Personally, when I look at this constellation, I see a pitcher of Sangria. Sangria is the perfect drink for the dog days of summer. It is cool, refreshing and a bit lighter in alcohol than other drinks. So, let's give the poor dog a break. Canis Major, go lie under a porch somewhere. I'm renaming this constellation, Sangria Major.

from Wikipedia

Do you see it? Are you thirsty, now?

Bring on the dog days--er, sangria days.

This recipe is my favorite and makes loads of smooth Sangria--not too tangy, not too sweet. You can halve the ingredients for a smaller get together. Or better yet, make up a full batch, without the club soda, ice and sliced fruit, and keep it in your fridge. Pour a glass or two, add some club soda, fruit and ice and enjoy.

Makes 3+ gallons

2 gallons inexpensive red Zinfandel (2 boxes + 1.5 liter bottle)
1 cup brandy (no substitution)
1/2 cup Cointreau (no substitution)
2 quarts good quality, not-from-concentrate, orange juice
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup superfine sugar (I start with 3/4 cup and add extra if needed)
12-16 ice cubes
2 quarts chilled club soda
3 oranges, thinly sliced
3 lemons, thinly sliced

Thoroughly chill all ingredients. Pour the wine, brandy and Cointreau into a large punch bowl, pitcher or beverage dispenser. (I bought this one at Target.) Stir orange and lemon juice with the sugar until sugar has dissolved. Then add to bowl and stir to blend. Add ice cubes and soda and garnish with fruit slices.

Recipe from House and Garden Drink Guide, 1973, with my added notes. (and, no, I was not old enough to drink Sangria in 1973, thank you very much)



  1. Love your Sangria. Thanks for sharing the recipe! And, I agree on the constellation rename :)

  2. Thank you, Diana! Glad you like it. Stay cool!