… from the California Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? I looked to Europe for today’s Happy Hour cocktail. So, let’s travel to Northern Spain for the recipe for Zurracapote—a popular Spanish mixed drink. There are numerous recipes and variations however, the basic ingredients are always the same—sugar, lemon, red wine, cinnamon and dried fruits. Depending on personal preferences, it can be served over ice, chilled or at room temperature and it is typically poured into a goblet.
Since Zurracapote originates from the Rioja region and surrounding areas, it is best to use local red wines when making the drink. Although this refreshing cocktail is quite like Sangria, Zurracapote relies on extracting flavors from dried fruits and spices over time, while sangria gets most of its flavors from fresh citrus fruits—oranges, lemons and limes.
Prep time: 40 minutes, plus 3 hours refrigeration time
Yield: 12 servings
For the Zurra red wine syrup
1-1/2 cups dry red wine
3-3/4 cups granulated sugar
6 juniper berries, bruised (can be found in select produce section or on the internet)
1 small cinnamon stick
3/4 cup diced dried apricots
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried plums (prunes) (optional)
For the Zurracapote
1/4 cup Zurra red wine syrup
2 bottles red wine (I prefer Tempranillo)
1/2 cup Torres orange liqueur or Triple Sec
1/2 cup vodka
2 lemons, thinly sliced, for garnish
2 Fuji apples, cored and diced, for garnish
12 ounces Sprite
To make Zurra red wine syrup
ChefSecret: If you can’t find juniper berries, you can substitute with 1 sprig of rosemary, or ¼ teaspoon of caraway seeds (be sure to strain out before drinking), or about ¼ teaspoon of cardamom.
For the best Zurracapote, allow the fruits and spices to macerate in the refrigerator for a few days in spiced wine.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “I found a $100 in the parking lot last week. I thought to myself, What would Jesus do? So I turned it into wine.”
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