I love summer. I just love it. I love feeling the heat of the sun on my shoulders whilst sitting in the park. I love the sounds of lawn mowers and leaf blowers in the cool early morning hours of a Saturday morning. I love the smell of charcoal barbeques wafting across our neighbourhood in the evenings. I love how everyone starts dressing in bright colours, so the crowded High Street in our town becomes a riot of pinks and greens and yellows. But most of all, I love the tastes of summer.
For me, summer tastes like watermelon. Like the blackened outside of a grilled hotdog. Like pink lemonade. Like tomatoes or peaches so ripe they drip when you bite into them. Like sangria.
Is there a more summery drink than sangria? I know that the English prefer their Pimm’s when the sun comes out, but I’m hopelessly devoted to sangria in the sunshine. Bright with the flavour of lemons and oranges, sweet from a touch of sugar and a dash of fizzy lemonade, sangria is pure refreshment with a kick. A glass of cold sangria, complete with floating fruit slices, and a plate of olives or tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and fresh basil… I’m feeling sun-drenched just thinking about it!
This sangria recipe is not actually mine. My lovely Spanish friend Juan-Miguel helped me make sangria and served as the all-important quality assurance taste-tester. I figure, if you’re making sangria and a Spanish man shows up at your flat, you are duty bound to get him to show you how to make it properly… and then to share the recipe on your blog so that every one can try the sweet taste of sunny Spanish sangria. Happy summer!
1 bottle of dry red wine
2-3 shots of white rum
the juice of 1 orange + orange slices to decorate
the juice of 1 lemon
1 nectarine or peach, cut into slices
¼ cup white sugar or more to taste
1 cup fizzy lemonade (in the US, you can use Sprite, 7Up or Fresca)
You need a large pitcher or jug. Squeeze the juice of one orange and one lemon into the pitcher. Pour in the red wine, the rum, the lemonade and the sugar and stir very well. Then add slices of orange and nectarine and stir again. Taste. It should be fairly sweet and not too alcoholic. Feel free to add more sugar or lemonade if you want yours to be sweeter. You could also add an extra shot or two of rum if you’re feeling frisky. Serve over plenty of ice, making sure that each glass gets a few pieces of fruit.