Ripe fruits are at their perfection this time of year! Here in the Northeastern U.S., blueberries are abundant, strawberries are past their peak but still sweet & flavorful, and peaches are just reaching their prime. The easiest way to enjoy these gifts of nature is simply nibble away straight from the tree or farm stand…after washing of course. But chances are you’ll want to branch out from this method of enjoyment to fully appreciate everything these fruits have to offer. Letting their rich sweet nectars marinate in a tasty sangria mix for instance takes the flavor experience to a whole new level. And in moderation, healthier than ice cream on a steamy day! Think of it as confirming Aristotle’s phrase: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
To make sangria work, you have to mix the right combination of liquors and fruit juices allowing the fruits to effectively showcase their natural goodness. You don’t want to overpower the fruit in a melange of alcohol. Even before trying the recipe below courtesy of Frederick Wildman & Sons, I could tell that it would achieve that requisite sweet spot. Dubbed Sangricchioli, this sangria utilizes Cavicchioli Lambrusco Dulce and Green Chartreuse as the base spirits. Produced from a secret recipe of more than 130 herbs, plants, and roots distilled in wine alcohol, you simply can’t get a more herbally infused liquor than Green Chartreuse. This is good news when combined with fresh fruits rather than having a syrupy or overly harsh grain-based liquor. It also paired nicely with the fresh picked basil and rosemary encased in the ice block I added to the bowl before serving.
I knew what to expect from the Cavicchioli Lambrusco Dulce since I had the pleasure of sampling it in the past. A playful bubbly red wine that’s
sweepingly biting on the uptake, it briefly reveals the character traits of a darker red before fizzing into a light cherry on the palate. Bubbly, spicy, with a delicate depth of flavors is what moves the following recipe forward…give it a try!
20 oz Cavicchioli Lambrusco Dolce
10 oz fresh Orange Juice
5 oz fresh Lemon Juice
5 oz simple syrup (50/50 sugar to water
5 oz Green Chartreuse
Several seasonal fruits
Mix the juices, fruit, simple syrup, Chartreuse, and half of the Lambrusco. Let sit for 6-8 hours in the refrigerator. Then add the remaining Lambrusco to add more effervescence. Add an ice block that is no more than ¼ the size of your serving bowl. This can be made by filling a Tupperware container with water, adding mint or other fresh herbs if you wish, and freezing overnight.
Photos Courtesy of Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by participating in complimentary tastings.