Sangria vs. Sangria

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You guys always have the best ideas.

 

Over the summer, a guest asked if we had a pitcher. When I realized we didn't have this critical piece of group entertainment equipment, I headed out to remedy the situation. Folks, I’m happy to tell you that The Biskra House now has a glass pitcher, an acrylic pitcher for outside, and one of those big jar things with a spout. Nothing worth doing that’s not worth overdoing, right?

 

Since we were in town we had to try out the new equipment. Quality control is very important to us, you see. We invited some friends over and set up a competition: white sangria vs. white sangria (spoiler alert: they both win.)

 

(We also tested out some great slow cooker and non-alcoholic drink recipes, which we will share very soon.)

 

Both original recipes had a critical flaw in my opinion, which was not enough wine. A single bottle poured over a pitcher full of fruit makes just a sad little puddle in the bottom. Use two bottles and top with sparkling water just before serving, and your slicing efforts will be better rewarded. Plan to combine the fruit and wine in the morning or the day before for a flavorful beverage in the evening; both are best when chilled 8 hours before serving.

 

Green Apple White Sangria

adapted from Rachel Ray

This classic version adds Calvados, a brandy made from apples, to give the sangria a very pleasant depth of flavor. Small bottles can be found at Total Wine and More.

3 tablespoons sugar (substitute agave nectar or honey if desired)

3 shots Calvados or other apple liquor

1 lime, sliced

1 lemon, sliced

2 ripe peaches, cut into wedges*

3 ripe green apples seeded and cut into thin slices (use less if you need to, we ended up using 2 apples)

2 bottles white Rioja Spanish wine or other dry white wine

1 pint raspberries (optional) 

Sparkling water, chilled 

Pour sugar and Calvados in the pitcher, stir until sugar is dissolved. Add all fruit except raspberries. Add wine, stir, and chill sangria several hours or a day. To serve, spoon fruits into glasses, add a few fresh raspberries to each glass, and pour wine over top of the fruit. Top glasses of sangria off with a splash of soda water and serve.

*Since peaches are unlikely to be ripe any time other than mid-summer, frozen sliced peaches work well here. We used an entire small bag and did not thaw first.

 

 

 

Cucumber White Sangria

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

We loved the non-too-sweet, fresh flavor of this sangria. The cucumber and honeydew flavors are very complimentary, and the mint does not overpower.

1/4 cup honey (more or less to taste) 

1/4 cup lime juice

1 small honeydew melon, seeded, rind cut off, thinly sliced (we ended up using half)

1 seedless cucumber, sliced

1 lime, sliced

2  sprigs fresh mint

2 bottles Sauvignon blanc or other semi-dry white wine, chilled

Sparkling water, chilled

Fresh mint sprigs and/or leaves for garnish (optional)

Combine honey and lime juice in a pitcher, stir until combined. Add sliced fruit, cucumber and mint to pitcher until it is about 3/4 full. Pour wine over fruit. Stir, then chill several hours or a day. To serve, fill glass with ice if desired. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Pour sangria over ice, and top with a splash of sparkling water.