When I lived in Montana, “preserving” meant canning, freezing, or pickling fruits and vegetables during the summer for use when sunshine was a fleeting memory, footwear consisted of boots or snowshoes, and fresh was the behavior of the local boys towards females of any age, whether comely or coyote ugly.  Here in the desert, we persevere rather than preserve in the traditional sense.  But although summer lasts at least six months, and often more, we do try to capture the best elements of “summer” for those few months when shorts are traded for long pants and polo shirts are covered by sweaters rather than a layer of sweat.  So when I learned this week’s Sunday Supper Crew was about sharing ideas for “preserving summer,” I decided to reveal my recommendation for enjoying summer throughout the year.

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Sangria epitomizes the exceptional aspects of summer.  It emphasizes fruits, has enough alcohol to give one a pleasant glow, and is served cold to refresh one regardless of the temperature.  Plus it is bipolar:  it can go red or white to suit the season.  And, like an ingénue with a first class plastic surgeon, a little aging is advantageous, thus making it a versatile beverage that can be made ahead and enjoyed later after the guests have departed.  In California, we have the requisite fruits available throughout the year.  For those in more extreme climates, if fresh apples, oranges, lemons, limes, and peaches are not available from domestic or international sources, you can use the fruits you “preserved” during the summer or the “fresh frozen” or juice versions found in your local market.  Since red wine, white wine, and port or brandy are ubiquitous, you can easily replicate this summer refreshment at anytime and anywhere.

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Learn how to …

Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies

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Jump into jellies, jams and preserves

Pucker up for pickles

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5.0 from 6 reviews

Recipe type: Cocktail

  • 10 sliced strawberries
  • 20 halved white grapes
  • 2 diced white peaches
  • 3 sliced lemon kiss plums
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup apple brandy
  • ¼ cup vodka (Grey Goose L’Orange)
  • 1 bottle dry white Spanish wine
  • mint for garnish

  1. Place fruit in large pitcher. Add two tablespoons sugar and stir. Pour apple brandy, vodka and bottle of white wine over the fruit and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours and maximum 4 days.
  2. To serve:
  3. Place ice in a glass, add some of the macerated fruit from Sangria, pour Sangria over ice/fruit in glass.

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