The Lung Brothers

Hanging out at the extreme end of the long tail ...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sucker Punch

This Saturday we will be throwing a rather sizable bash at our top-floor Barcelona apartment. It’s a shame you can’t come. I began these February festivities ten years ago to celebrate my then thirtieth birthday (which actually falls in January but we won’t go into that).

The mathematically astute among you will no doubt have perceived that I have just reached the ripe old age of forty. So this year the celebrations will be a little special, this being my official coming-of-aged party.

That being said, we’re not planning anything out of the ordinary. Our stalwart belief in tradition would not allow it. Our party supplies will be limited to the essentials - big bowls of unflavoured crisps, nuts and olives – a fridge filled to the brim, a veritable sarcophagus of beer cans – ice flung into the bath to be used as an subsidiary cooling point – spirits and mixers strewn over a covered table and eighty to a hundred people invited to attend the proceedings. We always prefer to throw wholesale parties with an emphasis on bulk rather than customized. I consider my guests less as a kaleidoscope of quality individuals and more in terms of biomass.

And of course, no Lung bash would be complete without the compulsory tub of sangria. Ah sangria, the cruellest joke that the Spanish ever played on the rest of the world, (the Inquisition and Conquista not withstanding). It was probably invented in the late sixties and I can just imaging how:

“Hey José, these jodidos German and British tourists are drinking my bodega dry! Now I will have to go buy some more wine from my neighbour Ramón. And that hijo de puta charges me two cents per litre. Look how he screws me, that Billy goat, I shit on his ancestors!”

“No problem Jorge. You can easily dilute your own wine with the water that you wash your fruit with, and then dump in a bunch of ice, some anti-freeze and sugar to disguise the foul taste. Then you just tell these estupido tourists that it’s a traditional punch our forefathers drank to celebrate cutting the throats of Moors. For this reason it is called ‘blood’ or ‘Sangria’.”

So here are the ingredients to my trademark February sangria:

Three or four Tetrabriks of Don S. red wine. Ah yes, Don S., fuel to a generation of street tramps, penniless teenagers and frustrated housewives. To call it cooking wine is to do it too much justice. Even cooking wine usually comes in bottles. Actually come to think of it, calling it wine might be doing it too much justice.

Three or four Tetrabriks of supermarket brand fruit juice. My favourite is the ‘Mixed Tropical Fruit’ juice because you just know they swept the floor of the fruit factory at the end of a shift and threw the contents into the press while the next crowd were clocking in.

Empty the contents of said Tetrabriks into a plastic basin (remembering to remove your dirty laundry first). Add a fist full of sugar, a squidge of lemon juice, a flummox of ice, a few drops of nail polish remover and a scatter of cloves. (Curiously, in Spanish the word for cloves is the same as the word for nails. So if you don’t have one, you can always use the other.)

Stir the contents of the plastic basin with a tire iron.

Serve into polystyrene cups with a common ladle. (If you don't own a ladle, a chipped teacup will do nicely)

I call this drink my ‘Sucker Punch’ for the following reason:
We usually ask our guests to contribute some extra booze to the event. So the idea is that some of the lesser intelligent, more lily-livered of them (designated drivers, anorexics, Spanish etc.) will bring some tasty beer along and then dive into the sangria, wrongly assuming that it’s a more harmless alternative to their fresh pilsner. Their offering is therefore free to be imbibed by a more deserving guest or more importantly, by me.



Blogger Twenty Major said...

Mmmm, Don Simon and Mercadona brand fruit juice. You lucky, lucky bastard.

Congratulations on the big 4-0. What time does it start? Can you give me directions from Via Julia metro station?

11:12 am  
Anonymous Lung the Younger said...

If it's the yellow line you're on, we're a mere stagger from the Passeig de Gracia station. Tennish o Clockish.

12:48 pm  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Sadly I'm a bit too in Dublin this weekend to make it.

You're bringing back memories for me here though. There's nothing like a good stagger up, or down, P de G.

12:56 pm  
Anonymous AnnieB said...

Wow, you're a lot younger than I thought! lol

Sounds like a super bash. I'll be sure and make a few toasts in your honor this weekend. :)

6:14 am  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

Happy birthday, Young Lung.

That little squidge of lemon is really what life is all about, is it not? It's what gets us through life's Don S. If you reach 40 and have learnt that, your life has been well lived, my friend.

4:16 pm  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Well, how did it go?

6:37 pm  

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