Sunday, May 27, 2012

Refreshing, Tart, and Sweet: Sparkling Watermelon Sangria for #SundaySupper

I hope that everyone's having a fabulous Memorial Day weekend so far...mine sure is! I recently joined a really fun food blog group called #SundaySupper. The group's mission is to bring Bring Back Sunday Supper Around the Family Table. In the fast-paced world we live in, that's something I can really support! Isabel from Family Foodie shares the week's theme with the group...and we create a food or beverage to go with that theme. This week's theme is Favorite Memorial Day Recipes, so I decided to contribute a fun drink: Sparkling Watermelon Sangria. You'll NEVER guess my secret ingredient to give it the perfect sweet-tart flavor!

Since Memorial Day is the unofficial official kickoff to the Summer Eating Season, watermelon is front and center at many food celebrations this weekend. Using that idea as a starting point, I created an original sangria recipe using this quintessential summer fruit. Sangria's an ideal drink for entertaining: since it fills a pitcher, it allows everyone to serve themselves while you're in the kitchen or mingling. This cocktail is easy to whip up, and it is so yummy: a little fizzy, a little sweet, and a little tart...and all-together delicious! Let me show you how to create this pitcher of yumminess...

Sparkling Watermelon Sangria
a Weekend Gourmet Original

Step 1:  Make the "secret ingredient" watermelon simple syrup by combining the following ingredients in a small saucepan: 3/4 cup water and 11-12 watermelon Jolly Rancher candies. Turn the heat on the stove to medium and bring to a boil, stirring every few minutes, until the candies have melted and the mixture is syrupy. The candies are sticky, but keep stirring...they will totally dissolve into the water. Pour the simple syrup into a measuring cup and refrigerate to cool while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. 

Step 2:  Add the following fruit to the bottom of a large glass pitcher: 1 diced mango, 1/2 cup blackberries, one lime sliced into half moons, and 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple. Puree 4 cups seedless watermelon in a food processor for 1-2 minutes, until it's completely blended and frothy.

Step 3:  Add the simple syrup to the bottom of the pitcher. Then add the watermelon puree and 1 chilled bottle of your favorite sparkling wine. I added a bottle of my favorite: Petalo sparkling moscato...but spumanti or champagne would work very nice as well. If you want to make this drink kid-friendly, just whip up a batch using a flavored sparkling water instead. Refrigerate until serving time...then pour this lovely pink-red sangria into wine glasses and drink up!

This sangria is a really nice combination of sweet and tart...and it goes down really nicely on a warm afternoon! Feel free to double the ingredients to serve a larger crowd. I was very happy with how this sangria came out. It's the basic technique that I use for every pitcher of sangria I make: a flavored simple syrup, fresh fruit, a bottle of wine, and about four cups of fruit puree or juice. The basic technique lends itself to all sorts of have fun with it! Speaking of fun? Please check out all of the great recipes that are part of this week's #SundaySupper lineup...and join us on Twitter this afternoon from 200-600 CST to chat as party of #SundaySupper!

Perfect Cocktails:

From the Grill:
Our recipes will be perfectly paired by Wine Everyday

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