Home Grown Chef: Summer Peach Sangria

1859_home-grown-chef-summer-sangria_carrie-minns-1
1859_home-grown-chef-summer-sangria_carrie-minns-3 As a youngster, I would not eat peaches unless they were canned yellow cling slices in light syrup without skins. If I were going to eat something fresh and peach-like, I preferred the nectarine. The thought of biting into fuzzy skin was akin to licking the fur of my Siamese cat.

 

Curiously, as we mature, we start eating foods that we previously wouldn’t—brussels sprouts, mushrooms, mustard, green peppers, fermented grapes, and yes, fuzzy peach skin.

Sometimes the best way to enjoy a previously shunned food is to create a summer drink worthy of your now-grown-up taste. This one is best shared with friends on the back deck.

The type of white wine you use to make this sangria can change the taste dramatically. If you want a happy hour cocktail that is a treat all on its own, I would recommend using a sweeter white wine such as a moscato, or a gewürztraminer. If your guests are going to drink this through dinner, I recommend using something drier such as a Pinot gris. Either way, expect it to be gone by the end of the evening.

 

Peachy Keen Summer Sangria

Serves: 5-6 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Marinate time: 1–24 hours

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 bottle white wine (approx. 4 cups)
1 cup brandy: regular, apple or peach
2 medium peaches, pitted and sliced
2 cups sparkling lemon water, chilled
Ice
Optional: mint or basil leaves for garnish
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In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together sugar and water. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large pitcher, combine wine, brandy, peach slices and ¼ cup of the sugar mixture. You can add more sugar later if you like it sweeter. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 24 hours.

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Right before serving, add the sparkling lemon water and pour over ice. Top with a few mint or basil leaves, if you’d like. Make sure to include little forks alongside the cocktails for “fruit fishing.”

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