What's better than a cocktail on Thanksgiving Day? A pitcher full of cocktails. Sangria is the perfect solution, and this one is well-suited to the season. I saw this in the October issue of Food and Wine. Since it’s lower in alcohol than some other cocktails, you can sip a glass or two while cooking all kinds of things and not lose track of your oven timing. It’s made with hard apple cider, apple juice, lemon juice, and a little brandy. You can slice the fruit and mix it with the brandy and juices in advance. Then, just add the hard cider right before serving.
I had some fun shopping for the ingredients for this sangria. I was testing the new Isis Mobile Wallet app. The app offers a new way of making point of sale payments with your mobile device. At the checkout, you just launch the app, wave your device in front of the machine where you usually slide your credit card, and the payment is made. Since the app requires near field communication (NFC) to function, you need to use it on a device with that capability. Currently, iPhones do not have NFC. I received a Samsung Galaxy III and a stipend to use Isis Mobile Wallet, and was happy to be able to use it at Whole Foods where I shop regularly. It’s reassuring to know the security features of the app. Not only is a PIN number required to launch the app, the SIM card in the device is also secure. If your mobile device were to fall into the wrong hands, the app couldn’t be used and your account couldn’t be accessed. There were a few hiccups in getting my account set up within the app, but once it was working, it was easy to use. Within the app, you can view a list of businesses that accept it as a form of payment. And, another interesting feature is that those businesses can offer special discounts and other offers within the app. There was a Whole Foods coupon available the first day I shopped with Isis. Unfortunately, neither the employee at the checkout nor I could figure out how to make the coupon work. I asked about how to use it at the customer service desk, and the employees there weren’t sure either since this is such a new service. But, they happily paid me the amount I should have saved with the coupon. It’s a nice feature, and I’m sure all the parts of the app will just get simpler to use in time.
For the sangria, I chose apples in two colors. I found some pretty, organic Golden Delicious apples and used small, red, organic Galas as well. There are also some orange slices in the sangria. The lemon juice came from a Meyer lemon I had just received in my CSA delivery. Then, I needed to decide which hard cider to use. One of my favorites is Leprechaun Dry which is made in Houston. Whole Foods always has Leprechaun, and that day I also found Isastegi which is a Basque cider from Spain. I’d never noticed it there before. I only tasted one cider on my recent trip to northern Spain since it wasn’t actually cider season, so I was excited to taste this one at home. I’ve learned that Spanish ciders tend to be very tart with a bit of flavor of beer yeast. It’s a different style of cider than American and English hard ciders. I enjoyed tasting the Isastegi, but it was tart, so I went with the Leprechaun for balanced, apple flavor. Depending on the sweetness or tartness of the hard cider you choose, you may want more or less lemon juice than suggested. I’m betting this cider sangria will be a festive addition to Thanksgiving Day.
I was contacted by M80 on behalf of AT&T to write about the Isis Mobile Wallet app. I received the Samsung Galaxy III device and a stipend to use within the wallet app.