We pretend at summer in San Francisco. Even on sunny days, unless it’s truly sweltering, the weather gets breezy in the afternoons and the air cools down. So while we can enjoy lunch on the deck, it’s a rare evening when we can do dinners al fresco.
Still, we grill, even if only to eat dinner indoors. And on summer evenings, I like a nice glass of dry rosé, which reminds me that in Provence, my favorite hot weather place to be, the days are dry and scorching, the cicadas are thrumming and all is right with the world.
My other pretend summer drink is sangria. Infused with fresh fruits and chilled, it’s the ultimate summer pleasure. This is a great drink for a casual party. Put out pitchers of the chilled wine mixture, bottles of cold club soda, fresh fruit slices and ice and have guests mix their own drinks.
You don’t really need a recipe for this wine punch – you can vary the fruits, substitute another fruit liqueur or brandy for the Grand Marnier, and sweeten to taste.
But here’s how I like it on a “hot” San Francisco summer evening.
Serves 4 to 6
1 bottle dry red wine
1 large orange
1/2 peach or nectarine
2 tablespoons superfine sugar or more, to taste
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (triple sec or Grand Marnier)
Chilled club soda
Ice cubes, optional
Pour wine into a pitcher. Cut orange in half along the equator. Cut half of the orange in half moon slices and add to pitcher. Squeeze remaining half of the orange and add juice to pitcher. Cut peach in thin slices and add to pitcher, along with sugar and orange liqueur. Stir mixture and refrigerate one hour or up to overnight.
To serve, pour wine mixture in a wine glass and add club soda to taste (try about 3 parts sangria to 1 part of club soda). Add ice, if you like. Repeat for remaining glasses.
Note: While you can serve with the marinated fruit, consider discarding them and replacing with fresh fruit slices, adding some to each glass before serving.
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