Showing posts with label Sangria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sangria. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Make a Virgin Sangria While Amusing Your Cat by Cleo Coyle

Got overripe fruit?  Waste not! This virgin sangria is a nice way to make use of it. 

Why virgin? 
A white wine sangria is delicious, and one of my favorite summer drinks, but on a warm day, I prefer that my fingers hit my laptop keyboard rather than my forehead, which means no firewater until the workday is done. A virgin sangria is also a good solution for households with kids because the drink can be converted into an adult beverage at the time it's poured, which means one pitcher can conveniently serve drinkers and non-drinkers.

Want a Happy Hour Cooler? 
Spike it...
To turn this drink into an adult beverage, Marc and I recommend mixing the virgin sangria in a glass with a generous splash of port, sherry, brandy, grappa, cognac, or your favorite fortified wine. Fruit liqueurs (and amaretto) work well, too. The virgin sangria will dilute the alcohol, which is why a more concentrated choice works better for mixing this cooler than using a standard red, white or sparkling wine (although your mileage may vary). While we’ve never tried vodka, it should work well, as should rum. Unfortunately, as I’ve written in the past on this blog, white rum sends me to the dark side, so it’s a non-starter for me. That’s why I drink a virgin mojito.

To get my Virgin Mojito recipe (pictured right), see my "Tale of the Virgin Mojito" post by clicking here.

For my Virgin Sangria recipe,
scroll down...

Cleo Coyle's 
Virgin Sangria - Makes 2 quarts


- 1 (11.5 fluid ounce) can of frozen
   white grape juice concentrate

- 1 quart bottled or sparkling water
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 4 to 5 peaches or nectarines, chopped
- 2 cups chopped watermelon

MIX IT: Empty concentrate into your pitcher or container and stir in the water. When the concentrate is melted into a smooth liquid, add in the fruit. Stir well, cover, and chill for several hours or overnight. The fruit will fortify the white grape juice, making it refreshingly delicious. It will also blush the color from an unappetizing dark yellow to a pretty shade of deep pink. 

SERVE IT: Serve chilled in a frosty cold glass and garnish by a triangle of watermelon or small strawberry (see photo above for ideas).

SPIKE IT, IF YOU LIKE: This is a versatile drink for a household with children or one with drinkers and non-drinkers. To serve this drink as an adult beverage, simply mix half a glass of the virgin sangria with a generous splash of port, sherry, or your favorite fortified wine. Brandy, grappa, cognac, vodka, rum, and fruit liqueurs are other possible ways to spike this refreshing summer cooler. (A concentrated wine or hard alcohol will give you better results than standard wines or sparkling wines, which may taste too diluted by the virgin sangria.)

Amuse Your Cat... 

Yes, as I was taking photos for this post, our newest adopted New York Stray, Durango Quick (aka “Rango” or “Mr. Quick”), decided that a peach also makes a very good beach ball. And, of course, after playtime, he decided to take a taste of the delicious water droplets shimmering on the edge of my watermelon garnish. So…

Cheers to all you thirsty
cats out there!

Drink with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hot Summer Days Call for Cold Sangria!

The title says it all, doesn't it?

It has been hot, hot, hot in the Chicago area, as it has been for most of the country, it seems. What better way to enjoy summertime than sitting outside in the early evening with a glass of Sangria and the company of friends?


Remember I told you about my daughter's graduation party in June? Before the big party date I scoured the Internet looking for a great Sangria recipe because I thought that would be a lovely treat for the grown-ups at our celebration.

And it was. I modified a recipe I found and the Sangria was a huge hit. I've been asked for the recipe repeatedly and it finally dawned on me to share it here. You're going to love it.

As a matter of fact, this weekend I think I might make up another batch for a different sort of celebration. As you read this, my just-graduated daughter is acclimating herself to college life. I miss her already.

To be honest, I'm thrilled for her. She's going to do great and I know she'll have fun. No Sangria for her for a few years, of course. But today, my husband and I, and maybe a few friends whose daughters are also brand-new college freshman, will imbibe.

Here is a truly excellent recipe for...


**You probably want to make this the day before you serve so as to give the fruit plenty of time to work its magic on the wine***

1 bottle of red wine (I used Columbia Crest Merlot - I'm not crazy about this particular vintage on its own, but it's reasonably priced and makes a great base for this recipe)

1 Lemon, sliced, seeded
1 Orange, sliced, seeded if necessary
1 Lime, cut into wedges, seeded
1 cup of strawberries, cleaned and sliced
1 small can of diced or crushed pineapple (including juice)
4 cups ginger ale

The original recipe found here: Best Party Sangria calls for the addition of Triple Sec or gin. There is also added sugar. We tried it with the sugar and with gin. Didn't care for the gin at all and didn't notice a difference with the sugar, so why add it if we don't need it, right?

Life is always about celebrating right? No need to come up with an excuse to enjoy this delicious treat!