I couldn’t resist this one. I love light flavorful drinks to accompany summer food. Shouldn’t beverages be just as fresh-tasting and inspirational as the first seasonal specialties we put on our plates? Eric Asimov writes in his column “The Pour” at the New York Times about sangria; he has shared four recipes for new and inspired versions of a summer classic. So, in the spirit of re-discovering the charms of sangria, I tried this white wine, herb-scented version. It did not disappoint. Not overly alcoholic and full of fresh flavor, this wine and sake mix is sweetened with a lemongrass syrup and garnished with green fruit. There will be a pitcher of this delightful drink at the ready in our house in the weeks to come.
(makes about 6 cups, 4-6 servings)
1 cup sugar
3 lemongrass stalks, chopped
10 ounces unsweetened apple juice
1/2 sprig rosemary
24 ounces albarino
7 1/2 ounces sake
2 ounces fresh lemon juice
5 ounces club soda
Kiwi, green apples, pears, cut into small cubes for garnish
Rosemary sprig, for garnish
For the lemongrass syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, chopped lemon grass and 1/2 cup water. Place over medium heat until boiling. Remove from the heat and strain the syrup, discarding lemon grass. Allow to cool. (May be covered and refrigerated.) For the rosemary-infused apple juice: In a blender, combine the apple juice and rosemary. Blend for 10 seconds. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer, discarding solids, and set aside. For the sangria: In a pitcher, combine the albarino, sake, lemon juice and club soda. Add the rosemary-infused apple juice and 3 ounces of lemon grass syrup; mix well. Garnish and serve straight up or over ice.
(Adapted from Gonzalo Marin via Eric Asimov, The New York Times)