I love wine because it's a perfect accompaniment to a great steak or nice pasta meal, but sometimes drinking wine in the hotter months of Spring and Summer is not enjoyable. Usually, Eric will start drinking his hoppy beers, IPAs, and whatever is on sale from our farmers market. I'm not a particular fan of his beer selections, but wine is my drink of choice if you ask me. When it's nice and hot you want a drink that's light and fresh, a glass of wine won't do. But something like a Tinto de verano - equal parts of cheap red wine like $2 chuck with club soda - is a great summer refreshment. However, sangria is the BEST refreshment - using cheap red wine and whatever fruit in season. Enjoying a glass of sangria is like that jungle juice you used to drink in college, you just keep drinking it without realizing how much alcohol has taken in effect. This is one of our go-to recipes for Sangria, and always seems to go fast at parties. Make one batch or two for a splendid time!
Adapted from Rachael Ray
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons (3 splashes) spiced dark rum
3 tablespoons orange liqueur
2 navel orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 ripe peaches, cut into thin wedges
2 ripe plums, cut into thin wedges
2 ripe nectarines, cut into thin wedges
2 cinnamon sticks
1.5 L bottle of Chianti *This is the best one to use, it's the cheapest, and truly accentuates the Sangria!
Squirt soda for topping off glasses of sangria at the table
1. Combine sugar, rum, orange liqueur, fruits, and cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher. Cover with bottle of wine and chill sangria several hours, preferably 24 hours. (This will make for the best sangria if the flavors meld together overnight.)
2. To serve, spoon fruits into glasses or goblets and pour over spiced wine. Top glasses of sangria off with a splash of Squirt. Make sure to eat some of the drunken fruit, it's perfect.