Champagne Sangria

Last night I made a champagne sangria recipe dating back to March from my calendar to take over to friends for our weekly Project Runway viewing party. Why didn't Heidi and Michael and Nina and Pinta and Santa Maria just flip a coin and kick one person off if they couldn't decide, instead of repeating their little stunt from last year and telling all 4 go home to sew for 6 months? But I digress.

The recipe called for kumquats muddled with turbinado sugar, Tuaca (the Italian vanilla-ish liqueur), and a broken up vanilla bean with champagne added at the last minute.

I made a couple itsy bitsy mistakes. The recipe said 'kumquat'. My brain saw 'kiwi'. I thought it was strange it said you can substitute tangerines. Why is a tangerine close to a kiwi? And you don't need 20 kiwis to get 2 cups sliced up. Anyway, I was stirring the champagne in when it hit me that a kiwi isn't a kumquat. I couldn't have found kumquats locally any time of the year anyway. I couldn't tell you off the top of my head what they even taste like, though I've had a few.

The second was that the recipe called for brut champagne, which I thought was what's been in the fridge for a couple weeks. But when I went to get it, I discovered I had a bottle of Asti. Oh, well, extra sweet with the sugar. And my vanilla bean was old - goof no. 2 1/2.

Despite being pretty sweet, I liked the sangria. The kiwi worked well with the champagne, despite the little black seeds floating around in it being a tad offsetting. I couldn't taste much vanilla, and I'm not sure how much a fresh vanilla bean would have helped in that regard. If I get to a Whole Foods and see a mound of kumquats and a mound of vanilla beans and a mound of brut champagne, I'll try it again sometime, but it's good with kiwis (and maybe a cut-up lemon or lime next time).