The best summer days begin with blue-sky mornings, carry on with sunny afternoons at the pool or the beach, and end with lazy, comfortable chit-chat among friends as the sun dips below the horizon. Of course, summer afternoons and evenings are made inevitably better if you are relaxing with a cool, sweet drink in your hand. So when one of my friends and readers asked on my facebook page for a sangria recipe, I was surprised to realize I had not shared one with you yet. Naturally I could not let her question go unanswered, so put out a request on Twitter and got some great links to share from The Pioneer Woman, Eat.Drink.Smile, and Aggie's Kitchen.
And then promptly got straight to work making my own batch of Rose Sangria.
Next to lemonade, sangria is probably the most quintessential satisfying summer beverage, and I love it. With a glass of sangria in my hand, and my friends and family by my side, I am a happy lady.
Regardless of whether you make your sangria with white, rose, or red wine, the best part is definitely the wine-soaked fruit. Don't you just love fishing out those boozy fruits from the bottom of the glass? For my summer Rose Sangria, I love adding in ripe peaches and strawberries, sliced oranges, and plump raspberries. The sliced oranges are so beautiful, but my favorite to eat are the peaches - they soak up the sugar and wine to become tender and just perfectly sweet.
Now, lets talk booze shall we? I know lots of people just make their sangria with wine, soda, sugar, and fruits, but I really like to spike my sangria with some extra alcohol for more sweetness and kick. Traditionally, Rose Sangria is complemented best by raspberry liqueurs like Chambord, but I am on a budget and I like to use ingredients that I usually have on hand (and I hope you do too). So for my sangria, I boost the flavor with Triple Sec and Citrus Vodka. Triple sec is super inexpensive, and the orange taste is fantastic in other cocktails like margaritas or Cosmopolitans. The citrus vodka is actually optional - sometimes I add only triple sec - but I find it adds a bit of complexity that I really like.
Triple sec is fabulous in sangria, and to keep down the price I usually buy the cheapest one.
I soak my fruits with sugar and liqueur for at least an hour or longer to make them sweet and tender...
And then mix them with the wine. I adore the beautiful color of rose wine.
I think the most common type of sangria is made with red wine, but sometimes I find that to be too bitter or heavy for light summer days. Using rose wine (or sweeter white wine) is so much more refreshing and beautiful, and such a nice change from the norm. Altogether, this recipe has rose wine, ginger ale, summer fruits, triple sec, and citrus vodka. Super simple.
So gather together some friends, pull up a chair, and pass around the pitcher of sangria. Waste away a weekend evening giggling and sharing stories, enjoying a backyard barbecue, or just relaxing in solitude. It is summertime, and the livin' is easy... Enjoy.
You might also like: Sparkling Wine with Lemon Thyme Sorbet
One year ago: Lemony White Bean Salad with Tomato and Dill (I had forgotten about this! I love it, definitely making it this week.)
Is there any summer beverage more perfect than sangria? It is light and fruity and sweet enough for a long afternoon of sipping and chatting with friends. This recipe is best with rose wine, but try substituting sweeter white wine if you like. *Also, I like using both triple sec and citron vodka, but I have made this before using only triple sec (1 cup total then) and it is just as sweet and satisfying.
1 large orange (I love valencia oranges)
2 ripe yellow peaches
About 2 cups strawberries
About 1 cup raspberries
1/4-1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup triple sec
1/4 cup citron vodka (I use Smirnoff Citrus)*
1 bottle Rose wine
1 1/2 cups ginger ale
For serving: (Optional) Ice, orange slices, or fresh raspberries
First wash all the fruits well. Then cut the orange in half, and cut the halves into slices. Next thinly slice the peaches (slice around the peach to divide into quarters, then pull each quarter away from the pit to slice again), hull and quarter the strawberries, and leave the raspberries whole. Place all the fruits in a large bowl, and add the sugar, triple sec, and vodka. Mix the fruit well, pressing it down in the bowl so it is mostly covered by the sugar/alcohol mixture. Soak the fruit, mixing occasionally, for at least 1 hour, but if you can soak it for 2-3 hours it will be even better.
To mix up the sangria, add the bottle of Rose wine, and the ginger ale to a large bowl, then stir in the fruit and alcohol. (Or if you have a drink dispenser, you can just add everything in there and swirl it around.) Mix well, and chill before serving. If you like, serve with ice, in glasses garnished with orange slices or fresh raspberries.