Thirsty Thursday: Welcoming The Summer Of Sangria

    Things are looking up. The end of the week is in sight, the weather is incredible, and it’s still light out even up to  almost 8 pm! I don’t know about you, but an approaching weekend, combined with a hint of summer in the air makes me want to light the grill and have a cocktail!

    Gone are the dark days of winter that make you want to stuff your face and curl up on the couch. Summer’s homecoming has completely changed my mood and brought back my much more enthusiastic vibes. It’s no wonder that people who live in southern California are so happy and fit – they’ve got year round access to outdoor drinking, and no excuses to stay home instead of hitting the gym. Everyone’s running around in skimpy clothes, and it’s too hot to be covered up!

    Thankfully, the East coast has left winter behind, and we can all focus on what’s important – the perfect signature summer cocktail!

    There’s no doubt that a cold beer is the perfect addition to burgers and dogs at an afternoon barbecue. After a few, however, I find myself bloated and uncomfortable. The key to summer drinking, for me, is light and refreshing. I want my drink to reflect the season, and there is no better way to celebrate summer than a drink that’s basically fruit salad with booze on top of it! Yup, Sangria!

    shutterstock_353883527Sangria is so versatile. If you’re entertaining you can make huge pitchers of it in advance, there are a ton of different recipes, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to stock your bar! And the very best part of Sangria – eating the fruit! If you have never eaten fruit soaked in wine, have you ever actually experience the term “happy hour” for real?  It’s basically fruit punch… and who doesn’t like fruit punch?

    It’s five o’clock somewhere, people! Time for a Sangria break!

    Luckily for you, I am a self-proclaimed mixologist and I have put together some mouthwatering recipes that will probably have you stopping for supplies on the way home from work today. And think about how good for your health this is. Fruit combined with wine antioxidants –put on a pair of yoga pants and you’re the poster girl for fitspiration! Sort of.

    Whatever. Just try these delicious sangria recipes:

    • White Sangria: If red wine isn’t your thing, that doesn’t mean Sangria isn’t a fit for you! This white Sangria recipe uses Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc and is dressed with nectarines and seedless white grapes.
    • Black Cherry Sangria: This recipe is described as boozy fruit punch. Red wine combined with black cherry rum, pineapple juice, orange juice and ginger ale. How could this be bad?!
    • Watermelon Strawberry Citrus Sangria: Nothing says summer like watermelon! Rose wine, watermelon juice, fresh sliced strawberries, orange juice and a splash of orange liquor…this is like a farmer’s market in a glass!
    • Ginger Peach Sangria: Another white wine option that features fresh ginger and peaches with a hint of mint…yum!
    • Traditional Spanish Sangria: Traditional Spanish sangria involves a lot more work than this simple recipe. Apparently you have to soak the fruit overnight and let the wine mixture sit for hours before drinking. I need instant gratification, so this is a perfectly delicious solution!

    If you don’t have time, the inclination, or all the ingredients, I’ll spill my favorite summer drink shortcut. Red wine poured over peaches and white wine poured over strawberries. My parents always did this, and they would let me have a taste of the fruit after they finished their glass of wine. It’s become a favorite of mine as an adult. The fruit is so yummy, but you are going to want to use a wine that you like because it’s just a glass of wine with fruit in it – it’s not a mixed drink like Sangria. You’re going to taste the wine so you should like the wine you’re drinking!

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    Drink up… responsibly, that is.

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