Summertime is sangria time
Light, sparkling and fruity is the way to go on those hot, steamy summer nights.
The ultimate summer drink for a casual party – sangria. But don’t think along the lines of a super-sweet potion in a bowl with five kinds of fruit floating around in it, a sticky red drink that produces a powerful hangover. Those days are over. What we want in sangria now is sparkle and lightness, a drink to give a lift without a crash the next day.
And since sangria means summer, summer’s most delicious fruit should flavor the drink. Choose ripe, firm peaches. Reject any with green flesh or ones that don’t yield to the knife easily. The only way to judge their ripeness and flavor is by tasting a slice from each one. That’s an added perk, standing in the kitchen tasting peaches.
The basic ingredient is of course, the wine. Moscato wine, with its light fizz, sweetness and relatively low alcohol content, answers the demand perfectly, but a light-colored rosé also tastes good with fruit. I add some peach liqueur to raise the level of peachiness. Soda or tonic water refresh the drink. If you don’t mind diluting the alcohol, put plenty of ice in each wine glass before serving.
- 3 peaches, thickly sliced
- 3/4 cup peach brandy
- 1 bottle moscato or rosé wine, chilled
- 4 cups soda water, chilled, or tonic water, chilled
Drop the most of the sliced peaches in a pitcher, leaving some slices to garnish the glasses. Add the peach liqueur and stir a few times with a wooden spoon, to release the juices. There’s no need to break the slices, just stir well three or four times.
Add the wine and soda or tonic water. Mix.
Place a couple of peach slices in each wine glass. Add ice, if you like, and fill the glass with sangria.
And here’s a toast from Spain, sangria’s native country: Salud, dinero y amor – y tiempo para gastarlos! Here’s to health, money and love – and time to spend enjoying them.