Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Secret of My Social Success

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.

Shangria:

Start with:

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.

33 comments:

charlotteharris said...

Are you secretly a domestic goddess? But I feel like I have only read drinky-drinky recipes on your blog before. I remember some sort of punch with orange juice and whisky? Something along those lines?
I really think Lemmonex ought to have you over her blog for a guest post!

Shannon said...

Charlotte - You must be talking about bourbon slush, another (somewhat less potent) favorite of mine. I do occasionally consume food with my booze, but haven't posted any recipes for that.

As for the domestic goddess thing...ex-wife of a diplomat. Same difference.

Brett said...

When I first saw the word "Shangria," I thought it might have something to do with a sham-wow and alcohol. This is even better!

Zipcode said...

this is the best tasting stuff ever.............i love it and i loved those damn sandwiches haha

Shannon said...

Brett - the Shan-Wow is used to clean up the inevitable Shangria spills.

Zip - Tasty, but lethal.

Lemmonex said...

With sangria...I mean SHANgria...it is always the sugar that does ya in. It kinda scrambles my brain.

Titania said...

Shannon: you vs. me: Shangria vs. my (native - so nothing fancy here) Pisco Sour. We need to bet on who gets them drunker faster!

Shannon said...

Lem - The sweetness disguises the potency, doesn't it?

Titania - Awesome. Like a boozy Pepsi Challenge. Any volunteers for this experiment?

FoggyDew said...

Sorry about that beer in the Chuck. I've been wondering where it got to.

Represent for the Shangria, it rocks. "Thank you Cleveland!"

I volunteer to be the taste tester for the Shangria-Pisco Sour drink-off.

Marissa said...

That sounds like magic in a cup.

Shannon said...

Foggy - Considering you didn't even make it over on Saturday, that's quite impressive.

Marissa - It's the blackest of all black magic, yes.

Just A Girl said...

I have decided (ok, way before now) that I want to hang out with you. I love jug wine.

Seriously, my sister and I make "wine coolers" out of Carlo Rossi and Fresca (or Sprite, or 7up or whatever's around) pretty much every summer. Then we put it in water bottles and head to the pool. Someday we'll drown. Deliciously.

Fiery Nuggets said...

Wow, I feel kind of used. At least none of my antics were mentioned in your list.

Shannon said...

JAG - Jug wine coolers? That's awesome...and completely gross.

Fiery - Well, as you were a Shangria virgin, I decided to be gentle. Next time...WEBCAM!

[F]oxymoron said...

Ha! Awesome. Due to my current budget, I may test that recipe using rum of the plastic bottle variety.

Shannon said...

Foxy - Aristocrat, aka Peasant, works well. Or, shake off your cloak of invisibility and drink with us sometime.

Patty Duke said...

You mentioned something about a tiny dancer. Was that you?

Shannon said...

Patty Duke - It's entirely possible that "Tiny Dancer" was written about me. Except that it came out five years before I was born.

LiLu said...

You asked what you can bring Saturday...

just sayin'.

Shannon said...

LiLu- It's a lot to haul on the Metro, so if you can have a jug of chilled Burgundy waiting for me, I can handle the rest. I like Carlo Rossi, but, so long as it's under $15 it'll work just fine.

FoggyDew said...

I was talking about the party before that and the other shoe.

Justin said...

Mmm, bourbon slushie.. Shangria was amazing, too, though.

I love how you have such an eclectic mix of people at your parties. Charming Englishmen, underdressed suburban kids (moi), and the lovely ladies of the blogging world always make for interesting fun.

I have been singing Copacabana a lot at work lately, at pretty decent volumes (thankfully, no one is around to hear me except the computers... and the security guards).

I know I have said all this before, but it bears repeating!

JFo said...

My typical problem with sangria is that it lacks enough booze. Sounds like you've solved that problem. Plus, this jibes with my personal philosophy #3: "Drink until you're having fun."

Shannon said...

Foggy - You're a serial beer-shoer?

Justin - I don't know about you, but I find Copacabana both the best karaoke song in the universe, and among the most depressing. At its core, it's about a nightclub shooting and mental illness...way more gangsta rap than the typical Manilow fare.

JFo - I'm always having fun...though booze can augment that wonderfully.

Patty Duke said...

Not the song, I meant when you served the shangria. Besides, you're a girl. Why would Elton be singing about you. He was obviously singing about a fairy. (an actual one)

Zipcode said...

Tony Danzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Shannon said...

Patty - No, I was one of the people singing "Tiny Dancer." As egomanical as I am, I probably wouldn't dedicate a song to myself.

Zip - Count the headlights on the hiiiggghhwwaaaayyyyy...sheets of linen blah blah drunkity...Who's the Boss? todaaaay....

Zipcode said...

I do think my version of Lita Ford kicked ass......I know my 80s hair metal. Next time I will bring a mullet wig

bh said...

This recipe does not surprise me. After all, it's the aussies who have mastered the consumption of "goon:" insanely cheap rot gut box wine. I would say more, but the last goon escapade I embarked on involved me blacking out.

About on par with the "formal" I threw my Senior year involving trashcan punch. Nothing like watching freshmen make out and puke in the snow.

Good times.....

Draffish said...

Good Lord! Carlo Rossi! I haven't had that since I spent that hot summers day wandering the woods with a gallon of it for company... that was a good day, the next was not...

Shannon said...

Zip - Or, at least I should have had you wear the giant fuzzy dice hat.

bh - Australia has brought us many wonderful things. Violet Crumble bars. Olivia Newton-John. Me. And, now, "goon."

Draffish - I'm just impressed you drank all that wine and made it out of the woods alive...I thought that was the surest path to Blair Witch-hood.

Zandria said...

The prized recipe is finally out in public! You better believe I'm copying this one down. I love Shangria! :)

justjp said...

Sangria is my joint! My friend Keppa from Spain, makes the best. He gave me the recipe, but sadly I lost it.