Sangria Offers Creative Summer Sipping
It seems like Sangria is popping up on menus everywhere this summer – and rightfully so with an invitation to enjoy cool, refreshing wine along with the summer’s ripest fruits. The cocktail’s recent popularity inspired me to make my own Sangria this past weekend as a fun, yet easy contribution for a friend’s birthday BBQ.
To get started I selected two crisp white varietals from Mirassou Winery (client), the Chardonnay and the Pinot Grigio. To bring out the aromas and flavors of stone fruits in this Chardonnay, I choose to add sliced peaches and a few handfuls of blueberries. And, for the Pinot Grigio, with its already intense aromas of peach, pear and citrus, I combined oranges, limes and lemons to add to its lively acidity.
Both blends were superbly refreshing and added brightly colored accents to the bar. The beauty of Sangria is that you can add any fruit combination you’d like: strawberries, raspberries, kiwis and even cucumber would make for gorgeous pops of color. But, no matter how you slice it, Sangria is the perfect sip this summer. The best part: each was made in about 5 minutes.
Ingredients for each pitcher of Sangria:
1 bottle of white wine (Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc)
2/3 cup of white granulated sugar
3 oranges; 1 cut in half to squeeze into the wine and 2 sliced for garnish
1 lemon sliced
1 lime sliced
½ liter of ginger ale
(An optional suggestion from About.com is to add 2 oz. of brandy to your mixture. Or, for a less sweet combination, you can also try using club soda instead of ginger ale.)
Open and pour your wine into a pitcher. Then, squeeze both halves of the one half-cut orange into the pitcher. Add the sugar and stir. Next, add all of the sliced fruit. If you’re making the Sangria ahead of time, I would suggest chilling overnight to let the fruit infuse into the wine, and then add the ginger ale before serving. If serving right away, like I did, be sure to use chilled wine, add ice and stir well.