Summer Sangria For Your Next Cookout

The next time you have family or friends over for a cookout in your backyard, mix up a pitcher of sangria. This perfect summer cocktail is certain to quench everyone’s thirst. This classic libation was tailor-made for a hot summer afternoon. With it’s crisp, chilled wine and sweet fruit, your friends will think that you’ve been practicing a bit of mixology in addition to learning to cook. Made popular at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, sangria is believed to have been around for centuries before it’s international debut and rise to cocktail stardom.

Serving sangria at your cookout is a sure-fire way to inspire a carefree and fun atmosphere in your yard. Unlike a cooler of light beer, sangria instills a more sophisticated and less “college party” sense of leisure. After all the work you put into grilling up dinner, your meal deserves to be accompanied by a quality beverage. People love the sweet refreshing flavors and you’ll love that you don’t have to constantly be mixing up individual drinks for each of your guests. As a bonus, the colorful fruit floating in the mixture is visually appealing and makes for a great centerpiece!

Skip the pre-mixed sangria, though, because there are plenty of simple recipes for making your own at home. The wonderful thing about sangria is that you can easily experiment with different wines for a flavor profile that suits your particular gathering or the foods accompanying it. This particular recipe plays up the light, natural flavors of summer by using in-season fruits that pair well with fire-grilled chicken or fish:

Saveur’s Stone Fruit Rose Sangria
⅓ cup honey
1 stick cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups sparkling blood-orange soda
4 cups rosé wine
½ cup brandy
3 cups roughly-chopped plums, nectarines, apples and pears
1 cup grapes, halved
½ cup blueberries
3 sprigs fresh mint, leaves plucked

  1. Boil the honey, cinnamon, vanilla bean and blood-orange soda in a 4-quart saucepan.
  2. Once the liquid has come to a boil, let it cool completely before stirring in the wine and brandy.
  3. Add chopped fruit, grapes, blueberries and mint to the empty pitcher.
  4. Strain the wine mixture over the fruit and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Hostess tip: If you are having a large gathering, be sure to make an extra pitcher in advance so that when you run out, you won’t have to wait another four hours for a new round of sangria!

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