Thursday, August 26, 2010

Texas White Sangria

Sangria is one of my favorite cocktails during summer. It's usually made with red wine instead of white. I love both, but something about the crispness of a cold sauvignon blanc with fruit won out this time around. My friend Sally made this once when I came to dinner one night. She made both a red and white version and I was struck at how much I liked the white version. I asked for the recipes immediately, and I can honestly say there is no need to ever try another sangria recipe again. This is it. This is ultimate.

The drink itself is a refreshing blend of white wine (I used savignon blanc as I think it best compliments a sangria) fresh fruit and club soda, with undertones of mint and cinnamon. You make a simple syrup with sugar and water with fresh mint and cinnamon sticks and let them simmer together to make a flavored tea of sorts. When you go to actually make the drink, you mix the wine with cinnamon-mint simple syrup mixture and the chopped fruit together and let it sit for a couple hours and up to overnight in the refrigerator so that the wine tastes of fruit and the fruit tastes of wine. You add the club soda later, just before serving.

This drink is a bit on the sweet side, but welcomingly so in my opinion. I'm not a huge sweet drink fan, but somehow this combo works for me. If you are worried about the sweetness, just add about 3/4 of the simple syrup in and taste. If you like it how it is, leave it. If you want it sweeter add the rest in. It's easy to tailor it to your tastes.

Texas White Sangria
adapted from Southern Living

1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 cup fresh mint leaves, divided
1 (750-mililiter) bottle dry white wine
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
2 peaches, peeled and sliced
2 cups club soda, chilled

Bring first 3 ingredients and 1/2 cup mint leaves to a boil in a saucepan medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool. Cover and let stand up to 8 hours, if desired. Remove cinnamon sticks an place them in the sangria pitcher and discard the mint leaves.

Combine the sugar mixture, remaining 1/2 cup mint leaves, wine, and next 3 ingredients in the large pitcher with the cinnamon sticks. Chill overnight, if desired (and at least 4 hours) Stir in club soda before serving. Serve over ice.

Makes about 6 servings
Although the original recipe says it is enough for 10 servings. I strongly disagree.

I made this for a gathering at my house a week or so ago and it's kind of funny because I underestimated the amount I would need and made too little. When the pitcher was half empty and it was clear it would be gone soon, I quickly poured in more wine and club soda, so it watered the fruitiness down a bit but seriously, it was still so good. I don't recommend this but good to know if your in a pinch and need to stretch it!