Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Still Trying to Cool Off
What’s cooking? White Sangria

I’ve mentioned before the delightful group of food bloggers I’ve become acquainted with since moving to Austin. They’ve been open and generous with me in response to my questions about technology or social media or food photography, or just offering their friendship. So when one of them requested guest posts for her blog, I decided to give back. Her name is Lauren, and the blog is Gourmet Veggie Mama, which I think pretty completely describes her theme. I’m not vegetarian, but many of the recipes look very tasty, so I encourage you to check it out.

My guest post was back in June, but I figure summer is still upon us, and as pears are just starting to show up at the farmers’ market, this seemed like a good time to re-post what I gave her.

In the heat of the summer, nothing is quite so refreshing as sangria. But as much as I enjoy the traditional stuff, it can sometimes feel a little heavy for daytime drinking. (We all enjoy a little daytime drinking, don’t we?) So this recipe for white sangria is the perfect solution: cool, crisp, and light.

I love serving this to a brunch or a ladies’ lunch. It adds just the right touch of sophistication. And we recently served up gallons of it at a neighborhood cocktail party, where it was a huge hit. Kitchen Goddess note: If you’re serving a large crowd, it’s sometimes easier to make batches of the wine and fruit – which you can do a day ahead – then add ¼ cup (2 ounces) of sparkling water directly to each glass. That way, the carbonation doesn’t disappear before you serve it.

As for the wine to use, I prefer either a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio, both of which have nice fruity notes that go well with the pears, kiwis, and grapes.

White Sangria

Adapted from The Silver Palate

1 bottle dry white wine
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 tablespoons Calvados
3 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange-based liqueur (Triple Sec, Grand Marnier or my new favorite, Paula’s Texas Orange Liqueur)
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced thin
1 large pear, preferably green D’Anjou or Bartlett, sliced thin
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved

12 ounces sparkling water (not club soda)
sprigs of mint for garnish

In a large glass pitcher, combine the wine, sugar, Calvados and Cointreau. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the fruit, and allow to macerate in the refrigerator (covered) 4-5 hours or overnight.

To serve, stir well, then add the sparkling water and pour over ice in either a tall highball or Collins glass or a globe wine glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Serves 6.

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