Livi and I have recovered from our Florida culinary adventures and decided to invite our friends for a small gathering in my backyard. The weather was pleasant for an outdoor evening meal and we both were inspired by our trip to prepare Tapas and Cava de Sangria. I am lucky to have so many foodie friends that are great in the kitchen as well!
One of the best Sangrias I have ever had was at The Columbia, a Spanish Restaurant located in Celebration, Florida. Cava de Sangria is a White Sangria made with Cava, Brandy and Orange Liquor with lots of fresh fruit.
It’s made table side at the restaurant and I couldn’t wait to make it as soon as I returned home.
2 bottles chilled Aria Cava : refreshing bubbles and acidity balanced with flavors of lime,white peach and melon flavors and aromas
Torres 10 Gran Reserva Brandy: This highly regarded topaz-colored Spanish Brandy is rich,intense and luscious with notes of cinnamon and vanilla.
Orange Liqueur: I wanted to use Torres Orange Liqueur but I could not find it. Luckily, there are several brands available. I used Gran Gala which is a triple orange liqueur but Cointreau would also be another great choice. I am not a huge fan of Triple Sec. Its too sweet with no depth of flavor.
Cut two small oranges,limes and lemons into small pieces and place in a large pitcher. For an hour or so before you serve, macerate the fruit with the brandy and orange liqueur. I also threw in fresh cherries that I happened to have but Maraschino cherries work great! I used less than a half cup of each. Remember, these are high alcohol!
When you are ready to serve, pour both Cava bottles into the mix. Stir, add ice to glass, pour and enjoy!
Now for the Tapas!
Here are three of our Tapas dishes we enjoyed:
Marinated Olives: a variety of olives from the Whole Foods Olive Bar marinated with sherry vinegar,olive oil,lemon and lime slices,fresh garlic,rosemary,slices of the sweet Peppadew pepper,red pepper flakes and seasonings.
Steamed Mussels,Shrimp and Chorizo tossed with steamed potatoes,olive oil,lemon juice,dried thyme,oregano,garlic,cumin and green onions served room temperature.
You need lots of crusty bread to soak up the juices!
You don’t need to go any further than your backyard for a night of Tapas and Sangria.
Just add friends to a pleasant summer evening with The San Raphael Trio playing in the background.
And, the night just happens.
Ciao for now!