Guys, summer is finally here. I cannot even explain how much joy this brings me. No more puffy jackets and 15 layers and ughs. No more biting cold winds and
constantly running noses (darn you allergies!) and boots. No more searching for apartments in Miami or L.A. or wondering if my job would let me work remotely full-time. It is almost Memorial Day weekend, the temperatures are in the 70s and I could not be happier. (My roommate is also pretty stoked that I no longer come home complaining every.friggin.day.)
Let’s celebrate with some champagne. Champagne sangria, to be exact. Is there a more warm-weather appropriate drink? Summer berries float in a potent mix of champagne (or in my Spain-obsessed world, cava*) and white wine, with a sweet-sour kick of grapefruit to keep everything light and bright. Pick a white wine that is fruity and light — Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio work well — but avoid anything oaked (too heavy) or sweet. Unless that’s your thing … though I hope you have a hangover cure ready.
The best part of this recipe? It’s perfect for parties. You can scale it up easily (your only limiting factor is the size of your punch bowl) and you’re required to make it ahead of time to give the flavors a chance to meld, meaning you won’t be tied to your bar cart mixing drinks all afternoon. And in case you were curious, the recipe below just barely fits into a 1/2 gallon cooler, if you were planning to take it to the beach or to Central Park for a picnic or something. Not that anyone would do that. (You should definitely do that.)
It’s also infinitely versatile. Use whatever cheap sparkling and white wines you can find, and whatever summer fruit is on sale — peaches, mangoes, pineapple, grapes, pitted cherries, plums, etc. The only really important thing is that you serve this champagne sangria ice cold, as a refreshing respite from the hot summer sun. God it makes me so happy to say that.
*Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine, generally made in Catalonia. It’s a bit less sweet than Champagne or Prosecco, and its citrus notes pair nicely with the fruit in this sangria. Plus, cava is generally cheaper than other sparkling wines — I bought my bottle for $9.
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Makes 8 servings
– 1/2 of a grapefruit, thinly sliced
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup raspberries
– 1 cup strawberry slices
– 1 kiwi, sliced (optional)
– 1 750ml bottle of champagne or other sparkling wine (I used my beloved Freixenet cava)
– 1 750ml bottle white wine (I used a crisp, fruity unoaked Sauvignon Blanc)
– 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
– 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves (optional)
1) Place all of the fruit in a large pitcher or bowl. Add the wine, champagne and honey (if using) and refrigerate for 2 hours (or up to overnight).* Before serving, stir in the chopped mint. Serve in tumblers or large glasses, with forks to fish out all of the drunk fruit.
*If you’re prepping the sangria more than 2 hours in advance, wait until just before serving to add the champagne. Otherwise, it will go flat.