I’ve been really sparse with my June posts; blame summer and that I’d rather be outside than in. And let’s face it, computer screens and the sun aren’t the best of friends. My yearning for being outdoors has now lead to me writing this outside…while gale force winds threaten to take my computer on a trip over the railings. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s pretty damn windy out right now; but it’s still not deterring me from enjoying the summer while it’s here.
And enjoying it we have been. There’s been plenty of BBQs, bike riding, and we just got back from a great weekend of camping with friends. We ate like Kings, even with a fire ban in effect. Yes, we had the typical little Coleman stove to help us cook our eggs and beans for breakfast; but the real star of the weekend was the charcoal grill that our friends packed up to bring to the campsite. We had steak and bacon potatoes; smokies grilled to perfection; shrimp, corn, and pork chops; and of course marshmallows and smores. All without a hint of fire. (Except for the brief flame of igniting the coals of course!) Following our excursion I realized it was quite ridiculous that we could cook with burning hot coals in a charcoal grill that could have tipped over with any (slightly intoxicated) wrong move and burst the entire camp site up in flames – yet we couldn’t light a few logs of fire in a very contained fire pit. I shouldn’t complain too loudly though…don’t want them to start banning grills out there!
Needless to say, I’ve been far away from my computer most days, so I apologize for not keeping up with posts. There have been a few recipes that I know people are waiting for, so I’ll start with this one: a sparkling adult drink that’s perfect for summer. Sangria is one of my favourite things to make when the winter melts away; with the abundance of fresh fruit and the ability to drink a robust red while still beating the summer heat, this becomes a go-to drink for me between May and September. This citrusy concoction is a great version for the early summer months, when the summery peaches, strawberries, cherries, and berries are still growing patiently in warmer climates.
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp fine sugar
1 bottle dry red wine
1-2 litres sparkling water
Cut the grapefruit and orange in half. Juice 1 half of each fruit and set the other half aside. Juice 1 of the limes and 1 of the lemons. You should end up with about 3/4 – 1 cup of juice. Pour all the citrus juice into a pitcher. Slice all the remaining fruit into thin slices and set aside.
Pour the brandy and pomegranate juice into the pitcher. Add the fine sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the wine and stir. Add all the citrus slices to the pitcher. Cover the pitcher (if the pitcher doesn’t have a lid, just cover it with some plastic wrap) and let chill in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
When you’re ready to serve, fill a glass half-way with the sangria and top with chilled sparkling water. Alteranately, you could fill the pitcher with the sparkling water if you intend on drinking this within a short time-frame. Ice can be added to the glass before pouring in the sangria if you like.
Serves 1 – 6 (depending on how generous you feel).