I like to take my social compass, spin it ‘round once or twice, shuffle a few things, and invite an ever-changing cast of friends and randoms over for what they believe is a small, friendly, casual cocktail party.
It’s not. It’s actually an experiment of sorts, in which I serve them a potent (possibly lethal) substance known as Shangria. Then I watch the ensuing jackassery, take careful notes, and store the memories for later. (If I have any memories at all, that is.)
The original recipe came from allrecipes.com, back when it was a mere Classic Sangria. I’ve spent the last five years refining the recipe, building it into something light, tasty, refreshing, and destructive to your immortal soul. At some point, my friends dubbed it Shangria.
You start with rum. Lots of it. And sugar, and some sliced-up citrus fruit. Put all of that in a Tupperware, and chill it in the fridge for at least two hours. When time is up, pick out the citrus, and pour the rum and sugar into a punch bowl. Pour in some orange juice, and, once you’ve taken a deep breath…chilled Burgundy jug wine. Top it all with cut-up apples and pears.
I’m not kidding about that jug. If there’s a cork involved, you’re way too classy to party with me. Go sip tea with your pinky stuck out or something. The jug should weigh significantly more than your head, cost no more than $15, and should have a “Refrigerate After Opening” label. If it has an expiration date, even better.
Shangria has many achievements on its record. That astonished, rueful moment when guests realize they’re consuming rum-fortified jug wine (fortunately, by then they’re too plowed to care). A duet karaoke performance of “Tiny Dancer,” performed as “Hold me closer, Tony Dannnzzzzaaaaa.” A pervy voyeuristic hot pink shower cupcake. A stray can of Yuengling, found inside a low-top Chuck Taylor. A “Screw It, Nobody’s Walking Right, Anyhow,” impromptu slumber party. A ninja houseguest who vanished before anyone else woke up. World peace. Endless jackassery. And that was all in the same evening.
I think it's my Australian half that compels me to make this. I was born on a continent full of adorable tiny animals of outsize lethality. That has extended to both a pretty fair description of myself, and to my taste in party punches.
Because I’m generous, here’s how you can make your very own batch of Shangria. This should fill one large punch bowl. However, if your friends are anything like mine, you may want to go ahead and double the recipe.
One each, sliced: lime, lemon, orange
3 cups rum (I like Bacardi, however, anything in a plastic bottle will also work well)
1 cup sugar
Chill for at least two hours. Then, pick out the citrus and pour the rum and sugar into a large punch bowl. Add:
2 cups orange juice (any more than that, and you’re a coward)
One each, chopped: green apple, red apple, pear
Top it off with as much of that glorious jug wine as will fit. Stir.