Thursday, June 19, 2008

Healthful Alternative to Beer

Now that we are getting to the dog days of summer, many people like slaking their thirst with a cold beer after mowing the law or working in the yard. Good enough, but given all the recent data concerning the healthfulness of red wine, why not give red wine a shot.

Well, first of all there is the taste. Red wine goes great with meals, but is often too tannic to be drunk alone, particularly to quench thirst and there really are not that many red wine cocktails that fit the bill.

But thanks to the Spaniards, there is one great way to add red wine to your diet in place of beer or other alcoholic drinks: Sangria.

Now, Sangria has a myriad of recipes, most of which involve something acidic like orange juice being mixed with cheap red wine, fruit and other things, in a pitcher or tub.

But here is an easier alternative if you just want one glass. Take red wine, the redder and the cheaper the better, and pour one serving in a large glass over ice. Then mix in equal parts of Sprite and orange juice, or club soda and orange juice, and if necessary, sweeten to taste. If you don't have any Sprite or orange juice around, try a recipe of one half red wine and one half Coca-Cola--it's pretty good as well. If you want to cut up fruit to put into your concoction, you can, but it isn't really necessary. It is hard to ruin Sangria, so try putting lime or lemon juice in, as anything citrusy works well.

Using the Will Loeffler formula for making Sangria is easy and fun and it also has an added benefit over the traditional way of making it. Here, because you are making it like a cocktail, you are adding exactly one serving of the alcohol portion and are much less likely to over-indulge, as is the case when drinking mystery punch where one doesn't know the alcohol content and it is easy to fool yourself. Happy Summering!

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