Saturday, July 21, 2007

0 Recipe #3: Summer Sangria

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Sangria is such a cool & refreshing summer drink; it always reminds me of the outdoor summer dinner parties my mother sometimes throws for family & friends, out on her porch deck. These get-togethers are fun & casual, low-key affairs. We typically sit around the patio table, umbrella overhead, relaxing and just enjoying the evening. For me, these gatherings signal the middle of summer, usually around July, when the weather is at its hottest. The chilled sangria my mother serves at those parties always manages to hit the spot. :)

I enjoy continuing that tradition, chez Cyberpenguin. :) Below is my own original version of this classic summer beverage. Enjoy!

Summer Sangria

Ingredients:
1 orange (about 6 oz.), seeded & sliced into thin rounds (leave peel intact)
1 lime, sliced into thin rounds (leave peel intact)
1 lemon, seeded & sliced into thin rounds (leave peel intact)
2 peaches, pitted & sliced into wedges
4 apricots, pitted & sliced into wedges
1 mango, peeled & sliced into bite-sized wedged
1 c. sliced fresh strawberries (about 8 medium-sized strawberries)
1 c. pomegranate seeds
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 bottle (750 ml.) dry red wine (i.e., Rioja, etc.)
1  c. orange juice
1 c. pineapple juice
2 Tbsp. Cointreau (or other orange-flavored liqueur like triple sec or Curaçao)
2 shots crème de cassis
2 Tbsp. honey
8 oz. chilled seltzer water (club soda)
ice cubes
mint sprigs (for garnish)

Directions: Add orange, lime, lemon, peaches, apricots, mango, & strawberry slices into a large pitcher. Next add the pomegranate seeds & cinnamon sticks. Pour in wine, orange juice, pineapple juice, Cointreau (or other orange-flavored liqueur), crème de cassis, & honey. Stir until honey is dissolved, and then refrigerate overnight. Pour in the seltzer water just prior to serving. Add ice to the pitcher or to individual glasses, and garnish glasses with mint sprigs. Enjoy!

Chef's Notes: If you can't find peaches, mangoes, and strawberries in season, substitute with frozen.

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