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RBR Tailgating: Sangria Popsicles

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“Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you will have deliverance.”

I’m going to watch this game whilst basking in the frigid anti-glow of modern air conditioning. Outside it’s projected to be a searing 93˚with a sidelong glance at the possibility of a mid day relief shower. It’s gonna be another in an already tiring series of punishingly hot days. I really don’t care. Air conditioning.

Modern conveniences shield us and let us forget what being people was like for those born before an ice box was an anachronism. The bulk of Americans live year round at a happy indoor temperature of between roughly 68˚ and 72˚. But we still try to be seasonal.

It’s not until I need a sweater to comfortably wander the neighborhood that I will deign to make and eat chili in my pleasantly heated to between 68˚ and 72˚ home. Heavy stews and most meat pies only make their appearance on pampered side of my walls in the depths of winter. Hot cocoa under a crocheted blanket while watching Scrooge get his mind right makes no sense at a temperature between 68˚ and 72˚ in mid August. That’s for relaxing at a temperature between 68˚ and 72˚ in December.

It’s not going to be quite as hot in Columbia this weekend, but their weather concerns have had less to do with temperature and more to do with indecisive hurricanes throwing off tornadoes lately (you can help to alleviate that here). But most of us won’t be in Columbia for the game. We’ll be watching from our homes wondering how we would endure the heat that is a mere few feet and an insulated double pane glass window away from making us miserable.

Fear not. I have the remedy.

There were predecessors recorded in ancient Greece and Lebanon, but what we modernites consider sangria has roots in Spain. If you aren’t familiar with sangria (you are), it’s a blend of wine with a dash or two of distilled spirits, some citrus and whatever other fruits you have laying about set off with a bit of spice and a splash of carbonated water.

I like to read up on whatever I’m writing about and pull a few facts or a tidbit of history to flesh out, if not the post, at least my understanding of the subject. People who write about sangria on the web, of which I suppose I am now one, are a contradictory lot. Per the hive mind, the Spanish love their sangria, but only tourists drink it. They insist that it must be made with a Grenache heavy red blend or it’s a monstrosity but locally beloved variations are made with delicate whites or even rosés. Sangria can only be called sangria if it’s made in Spain but the German sangria is quite good. They recommend/do not recommend cinnamon.

That this refreshing heat beater comes from Spain strikes me as a bit odd considering that a quick Google search shows the temp there to be at, as of this writing, a frigid 23˚. You can only imagine what it must be like there in winter. I suppose teasing bulls works up a sweat no matter what the weather.

I wanted to make this extra refreshing, so I looked into it, found a couple of recipes written by fellow refreshing extremists and pulled a little from each to make the following whole. In order to make it freezable I had to 86 the distilled spirits and cook off as much of the alcohol as possible (despite claims to the contrary you rarely are able to cook off all of the alcohol in any dish.) It’s still disreputable despite the lowered proof.

I hope you like it.

Sangria Popsicles

- 750ml bottle fruity red wine

- 2 tbsp. corn syrup

- ¼ cup simple syrup

- ¾ cup pomegranate juice

- ¾ cup orange juice

- assorted chopped fruit (I sliced 2 Valencia oranges, 2 chopped Fuji apples, and a handful of chopped pineapple but berries, pears, and melons and just about anything else are welcome.)

- 2 star anise cloves or buds or whatever you call them

- 1 stick cinnamon

This is really easy.

You want to pour the wine into a sauce pan and reduce it to 2 ½ cups. I, naturally, can eyeball a pan full of liquid and tell the difference between 2 ½ cups and 2 ¾ cups. If you lack my visual acuity, measure 2 ½ cups of water and pour it into the pan you plan on using to reduce the wine. The likelihood is that you have some disposable piece of wood lying around your kitchen. Maybe it’s a chopstick, maybe it’s a kebob skewer. Either way, dip it in the water and with a knife make a notch at the high water mark.

Dump the water, pour in the wine, and start reducing over high heat using the chopstick/skewer as a dipstick.

When the wine has reduced, pour all the other stuff in, stir, let cool, cover and then put the mix in the fridge overnight to let the flavors meld.

In the morning, strain the liquid, give it a taste correcting with simple syrup if needed, and pour it into popsicle molds. Freeze.

You should now be equipped to fend off the treacherous Southern heat and humidity lurking beyond the confines of your climate controlled viewing area. Bask in the indulgent chill.

I took, like 50 pictures of this and is the best I can do. Cast stones as you will.

Or have a hot cup of cocoa under a crocheted blanket.

Enjoy, no injuries, and Roll Tide.