Everyone acts like sangria is so easy to make, but it isn’t always, especially if you don’t want to load your punch up with tons of extra liquor or sugar. The wrong fruits or ratio of wine to liquor can result in an overly bitter or overly sweet, disappointing drink.
Last weekend I found the solution. A slight variation on Gwenyth’s Goop recipe is quick to throw together by the pitcherful, made with mainly wine cut with a little soda or sparkling lemonade so you can sip it all day by the pool, and endlessly customizable. I was shocked by how perfectly the rosé soaked up the flavor of my super ripe peaches, making for a flavorful drink that doesn’t need much in the way of added sweetener. Check it out:
Peach-Basil Summer Sangria
2 bottles French rosé (look for a light-in-color Provence style rosé)
5 peaches, diced
1 handful fresh basil, chopped (also try with mint)
15 dashes Dutch’s Spirits Colonial Cocktail Bitters* (optional)
San Pellegrino Limonata (can substitute club soda, sparkling wine or ginger beer, but I liked the tangy kick provided by the lemonade)
Combine diced peaches and rosé in a pitcher. Stir together, and using a spatula, muddler or potato masher, gently press peaches and release some of their juice. Refrigerate at least two hours, but ideally longer, up to overnight. One hour before serving, add the chopped basil and bitters if using. Mix and return to fridge. To serve, pour over ice and top with a generous splash of limonata.
*Dutch’s Spirits Colonial Cocktail Bitters have a bitter, spicy, floral flavor that adds an extra hint of complexity to your drink. Handcrafted in New York, ingredients include wild American Spicebush and Kinnikinnick leaf, both of which were used by early Ameican settlers, along with Hungarian angelica seed, Pakistani red rose petals, Gabon sandalwood, French lavender, American bitter orange peel, Egyptian chamomile, juniper, Mexican allspice, and Ceylon cinnamon. I snagged mine at Virginia Highland Distillery in Lovingston, Va., but they’re also for sale here.
Also, if you’re looking to spruce up your summer decor, the linens in the picture are handmade in Johnson City, TN, by Bonnie Kaye Studio. I scored mine at the Richmond Craft Mafia’s Spring Bada-Bing and love the fresh colors and prints they add to my apartment. Bonus: every time you buy something, a donation is made to Feeding America, so shop away guilt-free.