{drink week & a half} Emperor’s Blush Rose Sangria

Editor’s Note: Drink week has turned into Drink Week and a Half! Woo Hoo! Not only do we have our first sangria recipe on FSC (how is this possible?) but we also eagerly welcome another new guest contributor, longtime Food Swapper and voice of the Capital Region Dining Blog, Emily Lemieux-Welcome! -Christina


Sangria is a great drink. First of all, you get some extra nutrients from all the fruit floating around in the glass as you nibble on a bite of blackberries between your sips of wine. Second of all, there is a communal feeling in either scooping in the punch bowl shared with a whole group amidst lively discussion or ladling from a pitcher with your best friend over hilarious gossip. It is one big healthy shared drink, and you can all sit around and discuss what’s in it since no two sangria recipes are totally alike. I have had some sangria recipes at parties that toss in vodka and gin, but in summer people are often drinking to rehydrate themselves. I don’t think you want to be slipping them extra alcohol in the form of a cold, delicious, drink on a sweltering day. Mine is a rose version. I think it is light for summer, but a little bit more unexpected than a white wine version. I first served rose sangria at a Mexican themed cocktail party I had last year, and it was a hit.

Then, there is the question about what kind of wine to choose. It seems a waste to use too good of a wine. When we went wine tasting in the Finger Lakes on vacation this year, I would say as sort of backhanded compliment “This would make a good sangria wine”. If a wine is too good, you can’t truly appreciate the complexity of the flavors when it is mixed with other ingredients. Of course, you also don’t want such a low quality wine that it ruins your drink. For this purpose, I love “Emperor’s Blush” by Chateau Lafayette Reneau. They are located in Hector, NY on the east side of Seneca Lake. According to their website the wine “melds notes of ripe strawberries with the mouth-watering flavors of fresh-cut watermelon”. Doesn’t that sound like an ideal wine to use in a fruity rose sangria? It is at the right price point for something you are going to be watering down a bit with club soda too.

So here’s to what’s left of summer. Here’s to a summer drink that is high on the fruit content and is as relaxing as lingering chats on the lake, in front of the baseball game, and by the pool. Here’s to crickets, lightening bugs, mosquito bites, and the vague feeling it will all come to an end all too soon. On that note, here’s a shot of me and my mom drinking this very drink when I was in Michigan earlier this summer and the rainbow she was totally obsessed with getting a picture of.

{from The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails by Mittie Hellmich}

1/2 orange, sliced
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 lime, sliced
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 1/2 ounces brandy
1 1/2 ounces Cointreau
2 tablespoons sugar
One 750-ml bottle rose wine, chilled
One 12-ounce bottle club soda, chilled
About 3 cups ice cubes

In a large (2-quart) glass pitcher or punch bowl combine all the fruit. Add the brandy, Cointreau, and sugar, and stir to combine. Gently stir in the wine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight to chill.

When ready to serve, add the club soda, stirring gently. Pour into ice filled wine glasses, letting some fruit fall into each drink.


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