Photo by John Ivanko
"I have peaches and cherries,” Brenda Carus said when we talked about the summer potluck we were hosting on our farm. You may remember our friend Brenda from our post on her family’s community soup nights. "I’m bringing blueberries,” added area farmer friend, Peg Scheaffer of Sandhill Organics when she called to RSVP.
While we love our fair share of fresh summer fruit plain and delicious on its own, the heat inspired us to use our friends’ fruit contributions in a liquid form, and our Farmstead Summer Sangria came to life.
While sangria originated in Spain and Portugal, our summer Americana version has a farmstead fruit twist. Starting with a white wine base, we add clear and light-colored ingredients, like apple juice and Triple sec. The drink showcases the pretty palette of fruit colors, which can be lost in the more traditional red wine-based sangria. We keep this sangria on the sweeter side, which went over well at the party to round out another hot summer day.
You can add just about any fresh fruit that suits you. Cut out any stems and pits, and slice or chop the fruit into bite-sized pieces. Avoid using bananas because they get mushy and turn brown. Frozen fruit will work equally well and help keep the sangria cold. Because we used fresh fruit from Brenda and Peg, we froze apple juice in mini bundt-shaped pans and "floated” them in the punch bowl to keep the drink chilled. Straight ice tends to water things down too much.
This recipe can easily be multiplied for larger groups. We made a quadruple batch for a gathering of about 50 and served it in a retro punch bowl. That 1950s classic punch bowl of ours works just as well today in connecting people as folks gather around to refill, refuel, or in the case of this recipe, fish out the fruit with the serving ladle.
Recipe: Farmstead Summer Sangria
Yield: About six 1-cup servings
- 1 bottle (750 ml or 4 cups) sweet white wine (We love Moscato!)
- 1/2 cup Triple sec (or another orange or fruit-flavored sweet liqueur)
- 1/2 cup light rum
- 1 cup apple juice
- 3 cup chopped summer fresh fruit (blueberries, peaches, raspberries, et cetera)
Pour all liquid ingredients into a serving pitcher. Toss in fruit just before serving.
Savoring the good life,
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