Summer is almost upon us, so I figured it was time to start concocting one of my favorite styles of summer drinks: sangria.
Sangria, which takes its name from the Spanish word for blood, is usually a mix of red wine, fruit, spirits and a little spice. But really, any inexpensive wine — red, white, or bubbly — can be the start of delicious sangria, as I learned while travelling through Spain’s cava sparkling wine region. Gareth of Mont Marçal Cava shared his Spanish sangria recipe that works equally well with red or white wine.
They can be made year-round with whatever fruit you have on hand, but to me sangrias are most delicious in summer, when they showcase fleeting gems like apricots, white cherries and ripe berries. One of my favorite sangria recipes ever is this Apricot & White Cherry Sangria I created a couple seasons ago.
Best of all, if you’re hosting a party, sangrias are crowd-pleasers – even people who claim not to like sweet drinks will be back for another fruity glass. The trick is achieving a balance between the sweet, tart and spirited elements in your mix.
Last weekend I discovered a bargain bottle of brachetto, a sweet-tart sparkling wine from Piedmont, Italy at a store called Grocery Outlet. Priced at just $7.99 this wine bursting with aromas and flavors of raspberries, strawberries and roses begged to be mixed with fruits in a sangria. So I gave in.
Sparkling Summer Strawberry Sangria
1 cup Limoncello liqueur
1 cup apricot liqueur
1 cup fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
4 ripe apricots, cut in slivers
4 key limes, thinly slices
¼ cup lime juice
1 bottle brachetto Italian sparkling wine, chilled
1/2 bottle peach sparkling cider
3 shakes orange bitters
whole strawberries, for garnish
If you’re starting your sangria a few hours or the night before you plan to serve it, combine the Limoncello, apricot liqueur, strawberries, raspberries, apricots, limes , and lime juice in a glass pitcher. Just before serving, add the chilled brachetto and the sparkling cider. Garnish the glasses with a whole strawberry.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
© 2011 By Maria Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl