Monday, July 9, 2012

BBQ and 102°: Amy's Sangria Saves the Day

Every year around Independence Day we have a big barbecue. All the friends, family and neighbors come heading down our driveway carrying  covered platters and pie carriers. Little ones, middle ones and the oldsters all hang out together in the yard and the patio, eating smoked brisket, pulled pork and everyone brings a side or dessert. So there is a lot of variety.  A TON of food. We all decided to scale it down a bit this year since the family is still reeling from my SIL's unexpected death. But there was still a ton of food. And a heat wave. 102°F.

Suddenly on Thursday I realized the BBQ was going to be INSIDE my air-conditioned house. The weather folks weren't going to be wrong. So that chicken we set up into the brine got smoked early (sorry no pictures as I was hurrying to beat the heat) on Friday. Then finished on the grill by CC, who braved thunder and lightning (no real rain to cool it down) to give it a nice crisp finish. But I'm ahead of myself. Having to move all of it IN, made me frazzled. Fourteen adults whining about the heat outside with the children  roaring around chasing the dog. Bedlam. I had plenty of wine, water, soda and juice...but nothing to cheer me up and add a little pizzaz to the proceeds. Amy saved the day. Her friend Janey makes a killer sangria, she said, and she'd email me the recipe. Really then, it's Amy's and Janey's Sangria, but who cares? It is fabulous. One glass, and bingo, no more frazzled.

Amy made me promise to not dootz around with the recipe, and I didn't really, except to add some seltzer to the jug. People would forget to add it to each glass, and it IS in the recipe. And only because it's got so much alcohol added to the wine and fruit, we'd all be flat-out before any of the food came off the grill. Sorry, Ames.

Don't wait for a BBQ to make this. Any gathering at all will welcome this kind of cool libation. Way too good, really.

White Sangria: Good way to beat the heat!
Note: You do need to add the citrus, and depending on the wine and fruit combo you use, perhaps a bit of sugar or honey. Made a double recipe. I used a 1.5 liter bottle of Chardonnay in each batch, plus, lemons, limes, blood oranges, strawberries, white peaches and mango. A peeled and sliced kiwi or two would be pretty, too, or cherries. Add what's nice and seasonal, but be sure to stick in plenty of citrus.  I served it on ice, since it was 102°F. Make it a day ahead, or at least 8 hours to let the flavors meld. 

Amy and Janey's Killer White Sangria

1 bottle chardonnay
1 c. triple sec, cointrou or grand marnier (triple sec most cost effective)
1 c. peach schnappes
Fresh fruit…especially lots of limes (squeeze in the limes…..cut up lemons, cut up oranges, apples, throw in berries...whatever is in season.
At this time of year, 1 orange, 1 lemon, one cut up lime for color is fine and pretty!
Add sparkling water in individual glasses so if there are leftovers the rest does not go flat.
"Anyone have a straw?"

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