There's nothing like a sipping on a colorful, flavor-filled beverage at any time of the year but I've found that Summer is the season for concocting some of the best drinks because there are so many wonderful fresh ingredients available: sunny fruits, crisp veggies, zesty herbs - a cornucopia of tasty goodness. We've been experimenting with delicious cocktails using many of the recipes I've discovered on Pinterest and the gorgeous food blogs you can find online. At times our kitchen has resembled both a cafeteria assembly line and a mad scientist's laboratory. Realizing that we needed stop playing bartender and narrow our choices down to a select few that we could serve and enjoy throughout the season, we decided on Sangria as a base drink because the ingredient variations are endless and it can be made ahead of time which is perfect for entertaining. (FYI - Margaritas came in 2nd)
This Mango-Peach version from chef John Besh of New Orleans is now a house favorite. (Many of his amazing culinary treats can be found here which is where I also uncovered my favorite winter cocktail) Sangria is traditionally made with alcohol but as a non-imbiber, I always appreciate recipes that are accommodating of that without sacrificing flavor. For this drink, I substitute orange juice for the Grand Marnier and instead of Viognier, I use a non-alcoholic chardonnay like this one. Delish!
Try experimenting with various fruit combinations in your Sangria. It's really hard to go wrong and you have a refreshing Summertime drink that almost everyone will enjoy!
Images: (top left, clockwise) Apple Pear White Sangria, Apple Rickey, Clementine Limoncello Champagne Cocktail, Tuscan Pear Cocktail, Blue Margarita, Strawberry-Rhubarb Margarita (bottom) Mango-Peach Sangria