Friday, May 25, 2012

White Summer Sangria

Even though the official start of summer is about a month away, the Memorial Day weekend serves as the start of its prelude here. The sticky heat acts as a warning of the wet, hot, American summer that is to come and the water-saturated air almost makes me suffocate when I run, even late in the evenings. These humid, almost-summer nights make me want to have something really cold, to cool off. And what better way to do that than with a cold, white sangria? So to kick off the Memorial Day weekend here is a recipe for a sangria full of summer flavors.

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White sangria is extremely easy to make, you just need to give it some time to marinate to allow the alcohol to penetrate the fruit and in turn infuse the drink with its juices. You can use a variety of different fruits or just a few. I like to use the flavors that tend complement the white wine: apples, peaches, citrus or mango. You can also add or substitute what's in season or what you can find in the store or at the market, including strawberries, melon, pears, plums, or even grapes.

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In this recipe I used a South African chenin blanc from the Paarl region. It is a dry, very crisp white wine, with a very faint hint of altogether pleasant bitterness. It is otherwise quite neutral in flavor, lending itself well to sangria as it is able to absorb the flavors of the different fruits. I picked it up, as I do with so many wines, on a whim: this particular one simply caught my eye with its name, "Tormentoso" and an endearingly grotesque looking fish on the label. It is so named because of where it comes from: according to the label, the southernmost tip of South Africa was named Cabo Tormentoso by the Portuguese explorers. It means Cape of Storms, but can also mean its English counterpart - torment - because the grape has grown in an unlikely climate, its roots tormented by the rocky soil. The end result has actually become a favorite around these parts.

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A few weeks ago, we were sent to try out Cascal, which is a carbonated, fruity soda made with fermented juices (with no sugar other than from the juice). I was intrigued by the description and thought the drink would pair well with sangria while adding a hint of fizziness. There are five flavors altogether. The flavors we used here are Bright Citrus, which in addition to the citrus has a rich pineapple flavor, and Crisp White, which is dry and crisp, less sweet, with notes of pear, and of all things, petals (it claims magnolia). The latter is my favorite for this recipe, and its flavors pair very well with the fruit in the sangria. If you can't get your hands on some Cascal, or other low-sugar, fizzy beverage, you can use club soda. Or, for a stronger sangria, you can dispense with soda altogether.

As white sangria is served chilled, sometimes with ice, I added a few bits of frozen strawberries instead for added flavor.

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White Summer Sangria
(Serves 4-6)

You will need:
1 cup strawberries, chopped into small cubes
1 green apple, cored and chopped into cubes
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped into cubes
Other fruit, e.g.: plum, pear, peach, etc., cubed
1/8 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup brandy
1 bottle dry white wine
12 oz Cascal or club soda
Mint, for garnish

Directions:
1. Reserve 1/2 cup chopped strawberries. Place the remaining fruit into a punch bowl or a pitcher. Stir together agave syrup and brandy and pour over the fruit. Add the wine and stir. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. Freeze the reserved 1/2 cup strawberries (to use in place of ice cubes).
2. To serve, spoon some fruit into the bottom of a wine glass. Add a few frozen strawberry slices. Fill the glass 1/2 full with sangria. Top off with Cascal or club soda. Add a few mint leaves to each glass and serve.

19 comments:

Pretzel Thief said...

Yuuumoramaaaa!

Your recipes and pictures are just -- le sigh! -- gorgeous, plain and simple!

Now, tell me, will you be watching crazy, kitschy Eurovision this weekend? :D

The Kitchen Boudoir said...

The fish on the wine bottle also looks slightly 'tormentoso!' These sangria look so refreshing. Cheers from Toronto, where the only thing memorialized this weekend is the longing for last weekend (Victoria Day long weekend - a much needed break!)

Susan said...

Just gorgeous & so refreshing! I love it!

Diana said...

Omg this sounds like a perfect summers drink! I have to test it out! But first I need to see if we have all the ingredients in Sweden. *Crossing my fingers we do*

Have a good day!

xoxo

http://petitemini.blogspot.se/

Nicole Marie said...

If I was to make these I wouldn't touch them. They look too pretty!!

frugalfeeding.com said...

Perfect for this ridiculously nice weather we're having here. A great twist on one of my favourite cocktails!

Super Earthling said...

Oh my goodness, Kat--what an absolutely delicious blog you have! I think I've gained 5 pounds just reading about white sangria (I've never made it, but I do make the red occasionally) and the Norwegian meatballs!

Saw your link on another blog and got curious. So happy I found you! :)

--Susan

Pop Champagne said...

ohh this looks delicious!!

Willow said...

How beautiful! I was literally *just* thinking 'man, I need to make sangria one of these days'... then here you are, always to the rescue with exactly what I'm looking for! :)

Eileen said...

Ooh, what beautiful colors! I usually make red sangria (well, when I make it--sangria is not exactly the weekend norm at our house) but I think your white version sounds perfect for summer. Plus it's a great way to stuff yourself with fruit!

Eat, Shop, Sleep and Repeat said...

looks incredibly refreshing!

polypop said...

Las t week it was so hot over here, that I'd die for a drink like this. Looks very refreshing.
Marta @ What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today?

Willow said...

Also - wanted to let you know I nominated you for an award! Check out my latest post to find it. Thanks for being awesome! :D

Sara said...

This has got to be the yummiest drink I've seen in a while! Definitely perfect for summer BBQs. ;)

xo

Mimi said...

oh wow, this looks delicious! definitely perfect for summer! :D

<3, Mimi
http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/
$100 Shopbop Gift Card Giveaway -- Open internationally!

Diary of a Short Girl said...

I love sangria great recipe!!

Diary of a Short Girl

Olga said...

Yummy! Too bad I'm not legal yet, hehe

For the Record

Ruth said...

White sangria sounds much better than red - I prefer white wine. This might have to be our celebration drink when we move into our new house in Sweden!

glutenfreehappytummy.com said...

wow that sounds so delicious and refreshing! thanks for sharing!



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