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Posts Tagged ‘Summer Fruits’

Thirsty Thursday: A Summery Sangria

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

When it comes to summer entertaining, there’s one crucial component to success: sangria.

Okay, maybe that’s just my opinion, but nothing quite says “good host” like a pitcher of chilled red wine bursting with textured, alcohol-infused fruit. It’s a laid-back bevvy that’s easy to drink and even easier to make for a crowd.

The three main components to this playful patio beverage are wine, fruit and a spirit. In this version, a Spanish Rioja is mixed with either orange liqueur or brandy and is chock-full of plump, black cherries, orange and lemon slices, and fresh peaches. Top with chilled soda water to taste, and serve over ice. Since summer means that all sorts of fruits and berries are at their sweetest and juiciest, feel free to adjust the recipe according to what’s in season at your market. This sangria will benefit from just about any ripe summer fruit you have on hand.

Bottoms up, folks.

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To Farmers Markets We Go

Shop at your local market during National Farmers Market Week.

For many, summer weekends mean days of briny sunning and swimming, lounging by pools and picnicking in parks. But here at Cooking Channel, one of our favorite summer pastimes is visiting local farmers markets and choosing amongst their bounty of fresh produce like kids in a candy store. Every trip offers the possibility of happening across a new vegetable variety or getting lost in conversation with passionate growers about their choices for cooking and consumption. (It’s kind of like a food lover’s summer camp.) 

Whether you’re a weekly regular or have yet to explore what your neighboring markets have to offer, August is the perfect time for strolling amongst aisles of produce-filled bins. For a too-short period of time, beans, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini are at their finest.

To celebrate this cornucopia of the summer harvest, the USDA has declared this week National Farmers Market Week, encouraging the 6,000-plus nationwide markets to host events and offer specials. (Not sure where to find the closest markets? This handy search engine enables you to locate them by zip code.) Check individual market websites to see what specials might be offered through this Thursday.

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