Monday, August 25, 2014

Recipe: Peachy-Basil Sangria

Summer may be rolling to a (too fast) end, but there's still Labor Day weekend & plenty of warm days ahead.
Peachy-Basil Sangria
And per my summer potluck/party tradition, that also means it's sangria time! And this year's version might be my favorite yet, since it goes down so easy but has a few touches to keep the flavors interesting. On top of lusciously sweet & fragrant peaches, I've also added a hearty helping of refreshing aromatic basil and a pinch of sweet spices. Then the batched syrup is spiked with a nice slug of gold rum and ready to be combined with some crisp white wine & served when needed.

Peachy-Basil Sangria (for 2 pitchers' worth, approx. 10 to 16 servings)


3 ripe medium peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (alternatively, a 12 oz. bag of frozen peaches)
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 handful of fresh sweet basil leaves, plus additional for garnish
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
3/4 cup gold rum (I used Mount Gay Eclipse)
2 bottles of light and crisp white wine (I used Flip Flop's pinot grigio)
Ice cubes
1 medium ripe nectarine, for garnish (optional - and I only opted for the nectarine because I don't care for peaches' fuzzy skin)
Virgin option: Omit the rum, swap white wine for dry ginger ale.


1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, peaches, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Allow it cool on stovetop for 10 minutes afterwards.
2. Place the mixture in a blender along with the fresh basil leaves, then pulse blend until the leaves are pulverized and incorporated. Then add rum to the mixture. The color/appearance will be a bit unseemly but this will improve when combined with the wine. (This mixture can also be stored up to three days in a fridge.)
3. In a pitcher, combine the wine & syrup in a 2:1 ratio and give it a quick stir, garnish with additional basil leaves and nectarine slices. Serve over ice.