Friday, August 20, 2010

A Toast to Friday!

On a summer Friday, there is nothing better than refreshing, sparkling sangria to welcome the weekend.  Delicious summer peaches are everywhere right now and they are the perfect choice for this summer cocktail.  I used donut peaches because they are a bit sweeter than white or regular peaches and they are smaller  (they look just like donuts!) so they cut into perfect bite size pieces.  However, any sweet summer peach will work.

In Spain, traditional sangria is made by coating pieces of fruit in sugar.  The fruit is set to marinate, allowing the juices of the fruit to seep out.  However, I think covering summer peaches in sugar is insulting; like telling the peaches I don’t think they are sweet enough.  Instead, I marinate the pieces of fruit in organic, all natural apple juice.  Note, this means no added sugar, and not from concentrate.  Any all-natural fruit juice will work but be sure that the flavor profile matches the fruit.  

Now for the good stuff.  As we all know, the alcohol is what defines a good cocktail.  My best friend Gabby works for Mionetto Prosecco and it’s the only sparkling wine I drink.  It’s the perfect bottle to always have on hand.  It goes well with almost every food, it’s a crowd pleaser and it’s the best mixer to use to create cocktails.  Prosecco is better than champagne, especially during the summer, because it is fruiter and has bigger bubbles making it wonderfully refreshing.  For this sparkling cocktail, I used the Mionetto Prosecco Brut because its hint of apple aligns nicely with the peaches and it’s perfectly balanced.   By using a sparkling wine instead of a still wine, you eliminate the need to carbonate the sangria with a sugary soda.

The final step in creating sangria is the brandy. I had no idea Brandy was a key ingredient in sangria until Gabby and I took a cooking class in Barcelona, where we learned how to make traditional sangria.  To measure the perfect amount of brandy you pour the brandy around the edge of the pitcher about 2 to 3 times.  I’ll stick with this tradition, and add the brandy as the final touch to this delicious drink.  Cheers to a wonderful weekend!
Sparkling Peach Sangria
Makes about 1 Liter
Time: 20 minutes to prep and prepare + 1 hour to marinate

3 donut peaches
1 granny smith apple
1-cup organic all-natural apple juice
1 bottle of Mionetto Prosecco Brut, chilled
Brandy, about ¼ cup

Cut the fruit into bite size pieces.  Pour fruit juice over the fruit and allow it to marinate for at least an hour.  Add Mionetto Prosecco, pouring slowly so the bubbles do not overflow. Top off with the brandy and stir to mix.  Scoop fruit into each glass and pour the sparkling sangria over. 

What makes this bite better?
By cutting out all the added sugar of traditional sangria, this drink is just as sweet but not too sugary.  In addition, moderate alcohol consumption (which is defined as one drink per day for women and two per day for men) has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Adding fruit also ups the antioxidant power!  I’ll drink to that.


  1. nothing like a friend who introduces you to fine alcohol.
    Mionetto definitely a great prosecco!! I had an engagement party for 80
    served the Mionetto Prosecco Brut and it was a great hit. I may even try adding some fruit next time. That may give me a pass for having two drinks instead of one.

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