Celebrate Solstice with Sassy Sangria

http://www.motherearthliving.com/The-Good-Life/celebrate-solstice-with-sassy-sangria.aspx

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailSangria—a delicious combination of wine, liqueur and fresh fruits and herbs—is perfect for any summertime gathering. Whip up this recipe to spice up your Summer Solstice party or any soiree. Served in a peanut jar, the sangria adds a festive air to your serving table as well as delicious refreshment for your guests. I found this recipe in Herb Companion Cooks: Recipes from the First Five Years of Herb Companion Magazine, published in 1994, and I’ve been serving it at my summer parties for years. It’s always a hit, and the leftover fruit at the bottom of the jar is a not-to-be-missed treat. Try serving it over ice cream.

Note: You need to start this at least two days before your party, to give the flavors time to develop.

Sassy Sangria 

Serves 20 

2 oranges, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

2 limes, thinly sliced

Fresh fruits (seedless grapes, strawberries, apple and pear slices)

1 pound frozen peaches or blueberries

1½ - 2 cups Grand Marnier liqueur

1½ cups brandy

2 very large bunches fresh herbs (lemon verbena, lemon balm, mint or pineapple sage)

1 gallon dry white wine

Sparkling mineral water or champagne

At least two days before serving, mix all ingredients except frozen fruit and sparkling water or champagne in a large glass container, twisting the stems of the herbs to release flavor.

Just before serving, transfer mixture to a clear glass pitcher or bowl with a fresh bouquet of herbs and the frozen fruit (edible flowers may be used as well). Add the champagne, or serve in glasses with a splash of champagne and a fresh herb sprig.

sangria 

Delightful to look at, delicious to drink, sangria is a festive addition to any summertime gathering. Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison