white peach sangria

sunset reflection

i had this recipe saved since a year ago, when the air was just as oppressively hot as it is now and we were all just as desperately thirsty for a clean cold drink — but the times were so so different. at once less turbulent yet more uncertain, every step a test of sound ground.

i was swimming my way through fresh unemployment at the time and the simultaneous feelings of rejection and liberation that it brought. things were murky, and i decided to just float in it. a summer wedding gave us roles: a bride and her maids, and so we rallied; and for me it swiftly gave me a new point around which to pivot and swivel. i was grateful.

in that summer, that was what i knew of strength: to call upon others, to link our arms, to celebrate our ties, even as we tightened them. we had a thing every wednesday — we had a thing, period — and it made me strong.

coffee cup

this year, to count back the months and figuratively turn them over in my hands… i see what has shifted and settled, to become more fully itself. anxieties turned into job offers, vows into supreme partnership; wanderlust evolved into residence; and in some cases, quietly kept longings revealed themselves to be decidedly false starts. for better or worse, it was a year of becoming.

it may be a strange time to do a year-in-review — end of june, cusp of july — but i suppose this is what happens when i finally log into a long-neglected blog account. and when i run on teacher time, with summer opening up ahead of me, full of promises of free time and a freed mind.

in any case, i think i like where i stand. i like the view from here; i like how my legs feel underneath me.

a year later, cheers to that.

white peach sangria

White Peach Sangria
Adapted from the Los Angeles Times
Makes 16 servings
2 bottles dry white wine
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup peach schnapps
2/3 cup simple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
juice from ½ an orange
juice from 1 lime
3 white peaches, sliced
½ orange, sliced into wheels
½ lime, sliced into wheels
1 lemon, sliced into wheels

  1. In a large pitcher or beverage dispenser, combine the wine, brandy, peach schnapps and simple syrup. Stir in the peach, orange, lime and lemon slices.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours.

red wine sangria

with a bag heavy with unused oranges sitting on the kitchen shelf and a lonely bottle of wine in the cupboard, what’s a girl to do except stir up a pitcher of sangria?  i also happened to have a little glass container of sour mix waiting in the fridge, so this recipe was truly just a glorified way of cleaning out my leftovers.

to me, the best sangria is a balance of strong, sweet, and fruity – and i’m quite smitten with this version.  i used a bottle of chianti from trader joe’s that i picked up for under 5 dollars (under the label aquila d’oro), so it would be pretty painless to turn this into a punchbowl drink for a crowd.  i can’t wait for this warmer weather to ramp up and the start of the season for grilled steak, fresh crunchy salads, and chilled glasses of this sweet stuff all around.

Red Wine Sangria
Makes 1 pitcher

1 bottle dry red wine
¼ cup brandy
2 Tbsp. Cointreau
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
about 2 cups sour mix, or to taste
3 organic oranges, thinly sliced

Mix the first four ingredients in a standard-size pitcher (about 60 oz. capacity). Add orange slices, cover pitcher, and refrigerate overnight.  Serve in pretty glasses, ice cubes optional.