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Our latest TALK Greenville contribution – currently in the June issue…

Well…it has certainly been an interesting couple of months to say the least! “Social distancing” and “sheltering in place” caused quite a few unforeseen challenges – especially in terms of our drinkin’ habits! On one hand, we have been far less social lately with no big weddings, galas, or other shindigs to attend. On the other hand (for some of us), staying home with nothing else to do for weeks on end has driven us to drink a bit more than usual. A belle needs something to look forward to…just sayin’.

We thought we would share what we have found to be an excellent way to drink up any wine you might have left in the cellar…with the potential to serve a crowd (if we ever get to serve a crowd again!).  And – it just happens to be perfect for those hot summer days to come.  Sangria!

First – a bit of history…

Sangria started out of necessity centuries ago as wine, fruits, and spices were mixed into bacteria-filled water.  That little touch of alcohol made the water safe to drink…and the fruits and spices made it tolerable.  The Spanish named it “sangria” (blood) because of the red wine they were using.  These days, under European law, all sangria must be made in Spain or Portugal – but the very best sangrias are made right in your kitchen!

Red, red, sangria…

This is perfect for those who might be trying to avoid too much sugar (can you say quarantine 15?). This particular version uses lemon, lime and orange juices along with agave nectar to add just the right amount of sweetness with a bit less guilt. It sits it the fridge overnight – or you can keep adding to it for weeks on end so that you never run out! Raspberries and sparkling water are added at party time for a surprisingly balanced sweet, savory & fruity elixir.

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)
  • 1 lime (cut into wedges)
  • 1 orange (cut into wedges)
  • 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2 cups sparkling water (club soda)
  • Pour the wine into a pitcher. Squeeze the juice from the lemon, lime and orange wedges into the wine. Toss the fruit wedges into the pitcher (leaving out the seeds if possible). Add the nectar and stir well. Chill overnight. Add sparkling water and raspberries before serving over ice.

Everything’s coming up rosé…

It’s actually hard to drink rosé ALL day – well, for some, but not all of us! This sangria might make it a bit easier! Simply pour a bottle of dry rosé into a pitcher and add lime juice, sliced strawberries, lemon-lime soda and a bit of sugar. Cut several mint leaves into thin strips and add to the pitcher for a savory, herby touch. The result is a crisp, slightly sweet refresher that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser (again…if crowds are a no-no, just pretend you have friends around and down the whole thing yourself – no one would blame you!)

  • 1 bottle dry Rosé
  • 1 cup strawberries (sliced)
  • 4 cups lemon-lime soda
  • 3 limes (squeeze juice of two limes, keep one lime thinly sliced)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mint (fresh)
  • Gather the ingredients. Place sliced strawberries, lime juice, sliced lime and rosé in a pitcher. Cut the mint into thin strips and add to the pitcher. Add the sugar and soda, stir, and serve.

Instant sangria…

In these crazy times, we sometimes need a cocktail that is immediately available to wet our whistles and calm our nerves. This delightful instant sangria only needs a few ingredients and a little freezer time to be ready at a moments notice. Simply freeze blended fruit and ginger ale in ice trays and keep them on hand. Drop them in your favorite red or white wine, stir for a quick bit, and you are well on your way to a refreshing respite from this other world we’ve been living in. And bonus points here…the kiddos can enjoy the little ice pops right from the freezer!

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • 1 bottle wine (red or white)
  • Peel the lemon, lime, and orange, removing the seeds. Put the citrus fruits into a blender with the raspberries, strawberries, sugar, and ginger ale. Blend all of the ingredients (except the wine) together, until it is “slushy.” Pour the slush into ice cube trays and freeze. When the mixture is completely frozen, pop the cubes into a plastic freezer bag and keep frozen. At drinkin’ time, pour yourself a glass of wine and plop 3 to 5 Sangria cubes into the glass. Stir and enjoy!

Grab a pitcher and a bottle of wine (your choice) and get busy! We are here for you, belles!!