From wine spritzers to cabernet caipirinhas, this Summer, I've been all about sipping wine-based cocktails. The one I'm most infatuated with is sangria. I've experimented with tropical fruit sangria and floral liquor sangria. However, before I made this version, I had never enjoyed a sangria with fresh herbs. The star of this sangria is basil. It infuses the wine with an aromatic earthiness. Fresh-squeezed orange juice further flavors the sangria and club soda provides a subtle effervescence. To enjoy this refreshing drink, that's perfect for sipping on the deck, get the recipe and read more
Recently my parents hosted an impromptu barbecue. When I asked if I could make the specialty cocktail, my dad said, "nah, that's too much work." Then I politely reminded him that a specialty cocktail doesn't always involve muddling and exotic spirits. It can be as simple as a chilled sangria. Since sangria is my classic fall-back cocktail, he caved and let me experiment with a new mango-peach variation. Although the recipe doesn't require the sangria to be made in advance, I threw it together a few hours before the party to allow time for the flavors to blend. Choose peaches and mangoes that aren't too ripe, you want them to hold their shape when sliced. Beware: this sangria is wildly crowd-pleasing. I doubled the recipe, but ended up making four more batches throughout the night! To check it out, read more
Last weekend I hosted my first outdoor dinner of the season. While I had grand plans to serve a crazy new cocktail, in the end, I went with a crowd-pleasing standby, sangria.
Sangria is one of my favorite drinks to pour at a party because it's wildly refreshing, can be made in advance, and serves a large group. From white to red to sparkling to rosé, there's hundreds of recipes, so I rarely make the same variation twice. This time, we sipped a white-wine sangria spiked with elderflower liquor. It was wonderful! It's slightly sweet and floral, incredibly fruity, and highly drinkable. My guests went through three pitchers in a matter of minutes.
If you're planning a warm-weather get-together, put this easy concoction on the menu. To give the fruit time to flavor the alcohol, assemble several hours in advance. For the recipe, read more
Since guests may arrive at different times and you could be busy giving a tour of the house, set up a small bar at your housewarming party. Let visitors pour their own drinks. Fill a bowl with ice and arrange glasses, garnishes, and napkins nearby. Place cold beers and several bottles of white wine in a large bucket. Make a pitcher of fruity sangria and place it on the table. Serving a sangria is smart because it's made in advance and keeps up with the Spanish theme of the snacks and sweets. To look at the recipe for this peach -strawberry sangria, read more
Know someone who is coming back from a stint away? Host a welcome back in their honor! I'll be doing that for the return of my dear friend Melissa with a San Francisco themed cocktail party. Melissa has created a guestlist, and I made/sent the invitations through email. The soiree will be at my home and all of the food will be local, fresh ingredients that highlight the SF Bay Area's most delicious dishes. Wine country will serve as the inspiration for the drinks, but if you think I'm taking the easy way out by pouring bottles of wine, think again! I'll be offering two types of sangria the classic red and a refreshing white wine version (known as clerico). Even if you are not hosting a welcome back party, your summer will not be complete without these sangria recipes so, read more