Monday, August 12, 2013

Sparkling Summer Sangria

A couple of months ago, as part of OXO's Blogger Outreach Program, I received a rather impressive box of summer fruit tools.

I was so excited to dig into the box (and into some juicy summer fruits) and see what kind of goodies I could come up with for the blog, but as you may have read in my last post, things have had me a bit tied up this summer.

Plus, in the midst of settling into our new house here in Texas, enjoying the company of visiting family (Hoosband's and then mine), and shopping for a minivan (that's right, soccer-mom-in-training here, people), we managed to severely wreck the one car we already had.

We were going straight at a green light, and someone left-turned right into us. Hoosband, his mom, and I were a little banged up, but the little one was completely unharmed. The car was totaled, but I'd never felt so blessed.

Adventures aside, it's good to be back at the blog. Summer may be wrapping up--the back-to-school aisles are dominating the stores where swimsuits and sunscreen recently prevailed--but there's still plenty of time to send it off sweetly.

So with that in mind, I present you with Sparkling Summer Sangria: a celebration of perfect peaches, juicy mangoes, candy-sweet pineapple, and the ability to kick back--even for just a moment--with some cold sparkling wine and raise a toast to everything we love about summer.

This is a bit of a before-and-after recipe: it starts as a simple sangria with fresh fruit and wine. After the wine has been consumed, the drunken fruit is blitzed in the blender and frozen into Sangria Cubes that can be plopped into the bottom of champagne flutes and topped off with fresh bubbly whenever the mood strikes--even if summer is long gone.

OXO's Pineapple Slicer, Mango Splitter, and Large Fruit Scoop are the heroes of this recipe--I used to dread cutting mangoes and pineapples, but now I leave their skins and cores trembling in my dust!

I used Cava in the first part of the recipe because it is Spanish (like sangria) and tends to be cheap, but I switched to Andre Extra Dry in round two because it is even cheaper (and actually one of my favorites). I like dry (less sweet) sparkling wines best in this application, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Sparkling Summer Sangria
1 pineapple
1 mango
1-2 peaches (I used a white peach, but yellow would be fine, too), rinsed and patted dry
1-2 bottles of dry, white sparkling wine, such as Cava, chilled

Cut the pineapple into rings, discarding the skin and core, and place the rings in the bottom of a large glass pitcher (or serving vessel of your choice).

Cut the mango into slices, discarding the skin and core, and place in pitcher on top of the pineapple.

Cut the peach(es) into slices, leaving the skin on but discarding the pit, and place on top of the mango--reserve a few extra-thin slices of peach for garnish, if desired.

Slowly pour the sparkling wine over the fruit, pausing to allow bubbles to subside as necessary.

Use a wooden spoon or plastic tamper from a blender to muddle the fruit if desired--this will distribute the flavors of the fruit into the drink more quickly but will greatly increase the amount of pulp in your poured beverage. The drink can be strained to remove pulp before serving if preferred. Garnish champagne flutes with reserved peach slices, if desired, and serve immediately.

Once the sangria has been consumed, transfer the drunken fruit to a blender and blend till completely smooth. Pour this mixture into ice-cube trays and freeze. 

Transfer the frozen sangria cubes to a large, freezer-safe zip-top bag and store in the freezer until ready to use. 

To serve, place two sangria cubes in each of the desired number of champagne flutes.

Pour chilled sparkling wine over the cubes, pausing to allow bubbles to subside and topping off as necessary.

Thanks for reading! Here's to Being the Secret Ingredient in your life.

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