Wine Wednesday: Can you pass me the pitcher of Sangria

Can you believe it’s already August?  I know!! Where did the summer go?  Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to squeeze the juice out of these last few weeks of summer and there is no better way than with friends and a pitcher of Sangria.  Actually, this weeks post is in honor of my friend Lisa – we actually met and bonded over a pitcher and this is always our go-to when it’s…”Do I have a story to tell you” time.

So grab your friends, make a quick pitcher or try all three.  Honestly, it’s a great almost end of summer treat.  Oh…just a side note, if you are making one that is fruit based, if you make it the night before…the fruit will be all the sweeter.

Mango-Peach Sangria

1/4 cup mint

1 cup Grand Marnier

2 peaches, cut into thin wedges

1 bottle Viognier

1/3 cup water

1 mango, chopped

1/3 cup sugar

In a saucepan, cook the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves; transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate until cold. Stir in the Grand Marnier, Viognier, mango, peaches and mint and serve over ice.

Shinsei Sangria

3 pears, sliced

3 oranges, sliced

6 Granny Smith apples, sliced

24 canned lychees, drained

1 1/2 pineapples, peeled and cut into large chunks

One 750-milliliter bottle vodka

One 750-milliliter bottle Sauvignon Blanc or other dry, citrusy white wine

One 750-milliliter bottle sake

Ice

In an airtight container or large bowl covered with plastic wrap, combine all of the ingredients except the ice and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Strain the mixture into a punch bowl, discarding all of the fruit except for 18 of the lychees. Add enough ice to chill the sangria to serving temperature. Serve in ice-filled white wine glasses and garnish with the reserved lychees.

Thai-Basil Sangria

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

8 Thai basil sprigs

Zest of 1 lemon, peeled in 3-inch strips

Zest of 1 orange, peeled in 3-inch strips

2 bottles chilled Pinot Grigio

3/4 cup brandy

1/2 cup fresh orange juice, strained

Ice

Chilled club soda

12 thin orange slices, for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the basil sprigs and lemon and orange zests. Let the syrup stand, stirring often, until cooled to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Discard the basil sprigs and zest strips.

In a large pitcher, combine the basil syrup with the wine, brandy and orange juice. Pour the sangria into ice-filled glasses, top with club soda and garnish each drink with an orange slice.

Pasta with Sausage, Basil and Mustard (use that left over Basil from your Sangria for this amazing dinner treat!)

1 pound penne or medium shells

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 hot Italian sausages, meat removed from casings and crumbled (about 1 1/2 pounds)

3/4 cup dry white wine

3/4  cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons grainy mustard

Pinch of crushed red pepper

1 cup thinly sliced basil

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the sausage meat and brown over moderately high heat, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, mustard and crushed red pepper and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the pasta and basil and toss to coat. Serve at once.

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