Fruity, refreshing cocktails go so well with many of my summer activities like sitting around for extended hours at the pool or watching kids ride bikes up and down the street. We also live in a beach town so that contributes to the summer cocktail vibe.
I rarely drink wine, but I will drink sangria. To kick off the summer season, I made a pitcher of sangria. My recipe has the fruit steep in rum for several hours before adding the wine, but I have seen recipes that use brandy and/or triple sec.
- 1 orange
- 1-2 lemons
- 1-2 limes
- 1 1/2 c. light rum
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 (750 ml) bottle dry red wine
- 1 c. orange juice
- club soda
- Chill fruit, rum, wine, orange juice, and club soda.
- Slice the lemon, lime, and orange into thin rounds and place in a large glass pitcher.
- Add the sugar and rum and stir until sugar starts to dissolve. Chill in refrigerator 2+ hours.
- Crush the rum soaked fruit slightly with something like a wooden spoon and stir in wine and orange juice.
- When ready to serve, pour over ice leaving a little room at the top for a splash of club soda. Make sure to top with a few fruit slices.
- Since I don’t know how to pick out good wines, this is a good recipe for me because it is perfectly acceptable to use cheap red wine a la the sale aisle at the grocery store. Most recipes recommend Rioja, Pinot Noir, or Beaujolais.
- Try to remove seeds from the fruit slices before adding to the pitcher.
- Sangria is easy to serve from those party beverage dispensers with a spigot, and it transports well in go-cups.
I learned a new word this week. We had friends rent a beach house nearby, and they invited us over to porch. This is what we do almost every weekend, and I am so glad I now have a name for it. Porching is when neighbors wander from house to house on a warm summer evening and sit on the front porch to socialize. Cocktails encouraged. We porched this week with Basil Mojitos. They are delicious.
- 2 T. simple syrup
- 1 shot fresh lime juice
- 1 shot white rum
- 6-10 basil leaves
- crushed ice
- soda water
- lime wedges
- Place the simple syrup, rum, lime juice, 2 lime wedges, and the basil in a tall sturdy glass and bash with a muddler or the back of a spoon until the basil leaves and lime wedges are mashed up.
- Fill the glass with crushed ice.
- Top with soda water.
- Garnish with a fresh basil leaf and a lime wedge.
- Ingredients list makes one large mojito. Increase amounts as needed.
- To make simple syrup, Put equal parts water and sugar in a pot and heat on the stove until sugar is dissolved. Swirl the mixture a few times while heating. Remove from heat and let cool. If you only need a few cocktails, mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. If you are mixing cocktails for a large group, double or triple. Leftover simple syrup can be kept in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for a long time.
- If you want to make a Strawberry Mojito, replace the lime wedges and the basil with strawberries and mint.
- If you want to make a Cranberry Mojito, visit this post.