The most simple and enjoyable summer I ever spent was on a beach in Northern Spain. I slept on the sand floor in a one room cabin with my back pack as a pillow. My job was picking grapes and making wine. Yes, we crushed the grapes with our bare (clean) feet.

I learned how to make to Spanish dishes from a native lady friend  named Christina, the owner of my beach shack. Christina taught me
Spanish dishes and customs. In turn, she was thrilled to learn English.

Her paella, with fresh shellfish we caught from the sea. may be my favorite food of all time.

This is Christiana’s sangria made with the local wine where I worked.


1 quart young Spanish red wine
1/3 cup brandy
A few squeezes of lemon or lime juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
1-2 pounds of local and  seasonal fruits (peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, nectarines, tangerines, lemon, limes and oranges)
1/3 cup superfine sugar
I pint of club soda. You can substitute
7 up or lemon-lime soda.


Combine wine, brandy, lemon/lime, orange juices and sugar, stirring all together in a large pitcher.

Add fruit with skins on.

Let chill for 4-10 hours. Stir again.

Add ice and soda just before serving.

Garnish with mint leaves.

Save all the wine soaked fruit chunks to enjoy later.

This is my go to drink to make for picnics and parties. Everyone loves it, especially me.  Sangria makes summer entertaining simply delicious.
If there is any left, it only gets better.

Brenda C. Hill

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success With Writing Where And What in the World