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Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Sangria (Back by Popular Demand)

I had mentioned the crazy hot weather we have had in Nashville recently. I think we are going on three weeks without rain and daily temps in the upper 90's. But I love summer. I always have, and probably always will. Here's what I love:
  • Screened-in porches (mine has become a hangout for several of my friends)
  • The smell of sunscreen and late afternoons at the pool
  • Grilling for dinner, especially grilled corn or teriyaki anything
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables that actually taste good
  • An icy cold beverage like fruit tea (my friend's great recipe here) or sangria
I am generally a red wine drinker when I partake. But it in the summer, I love my whites, especially in my summer sangria. My favorite varietals to use for this recipe are Pinot Grigio, Gew├╝rztraminer or Riesling, which are all on the more fruity end of the white wine spectrum.

And this is not a hard and fast recipe. If you have only berries, go with that. If you only have peaches and apricots, by all means - you are allowed.

Summer sangria
  • 750 mL bottle of white wine - I like Pinot Grigio
  • 2 cups of white grape juice or white cranberry juice or white grape-peach or whatever
  • A couple shots of peach schnapps (optional)
  • Sliced summer fruit of your choice - really good summer peaches, blackberries and raspberries are really pretty with this
  • Club soda to taste
  • 3 cups of ice
Mix in a pitcher with lots of ice and garnish glasses with a peach.

The beauty of sangria is that it is a very forgiving sort of drink. If you want to make it stronger, you can toss in a 1/2 cup of brandy, Cointreau or triple sec without messing it up. Also, for entertaining purposes (if you have the self control) you can let it sit in the fridge for a few hours up to overnight so that all of the flavors can really blend together. Of course, in our house this would be gone in no time. Just saying.

What is your favorite thing to drink to cool off in the summer? Are you a sangria fan? Chime in!

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