One of the things I hate most in life is unnecessary waste, be it money, food – and especially BOOZE. Recently, I had the good misfortune of purchasing a box of wine that had been expired for well over a year! Businesses in Somewhere have no qualms with selling expired food and booze, it seems, and they do have us up against the wall – if I don’t want to shop here, my other grocery store options are all 45 minutes away. BUMMER.
But Emily, you say, that wine has been sitting on the shelf for a full year, aging to perfection! Yeah, not exactly. Boxed wine has a shelf life of 6-9 months, and it is NOT meant to age longer than 4-6 weeks after it’s opened. This box of wine was barely drinkable when we first tried it, but with a little experimentation, I found a handy way to polish off the box. CAMP SANGRIA! This is an especially handy recipe if…
A. You’ve had a box of wine in the back of your fridge for seemingly forever, and you’re wary of drinking it because you’re slightly afraid it will kill you. (It won’t, but it won’t taste great either.)
B. You’re camping! And you’re keeping the load light in order to leave a smaller, more eco-friendly footprint – or you don’t feel like hauling around the 8 different ingredients you’d need for really PREMIUM sangria.
C. You live in an RV dammit, and you REFUSE to waste $13 on an undrinkable box of wine, because you worked hard for that $13, and also that is not how you ROLL.
Emily’s Signature Camp Sangria (PATENT PENDING) is a sublimely simple recipe. It only calls for…
1 Box of red wine, the smaller the better – non-expired, new wine will work just as well as old, of course, if not better! (I used “House Red”, but Merlots, Malbecs, and Cabernet Sauvignons should all work splendidly.)
1 Two liter of Sunkist 10 (if you’re watching your calories), or regular Sunkist (if calories be DAMNED!)
1 Small-medium lemon
All you need to know is that the ratio of boxed wine to Sunkist is 1:1 – however big the batch, just use as much wine as you Sunkist. Then chop up a lemon – you’ll only need half for the sangria itself (provided you’re not making more than a pitcher at a time), so the remaining slices can be used for a garnish, if you wanna get FANCY. The lemon successfully neutralizes all those funky, overly tannic wine notes in the wine, and mellows out the funky artificial stuff in the soda. You could throw in half an orange too, if you felt like it, even though flavor-wise, that’s a little redundant.
But Emily, you say, what if I have an old-ass box of WHITE wine that I need to get rid of? Well, my friend, I have a quick and easy solution for you. Fans of “30 Rock” might be able to ID this cocktail combo as a riff on Liz Lemon’s signature drink, “Funky Juice”:
1 Box of white wine
1 Two liter of Sprite
Half a carton of strawberries or raspberries
The only difference here is that you’ll want to slice and/or muddle the berries before you add them to your sangria concoction, so all the delicious berry juices are released.
Now, ladies and gents, even though this is my “signature” sangria, I’m not suggesting that this is the sangria you should bust out on special occasions, unless you want your friends to be hella impressed by your miserly ingenuity. This is a fast, cheap, n’ easy sangria blend that’s especially for camping, and those panicked “OMG I’m home alone and I don’t have any decent wine to drink!” moments. Capiche? That’s not to say it’s not TASTY and AWESOME, but in the wise words of every redneck ever, “it is what it is y’all”.