Although summer's just getting started here in Tokyo, the humidity makes it feel as though I'm constantly wrapped in a luke-warm wet blanket. After spending my past few summers up in Hokkaido where it only hits 80 degrees F on a very hot day, I can already tell I'm going to hate the summers here.
Between the heat and a work calendar that's booked solid for the next 3 months, today was a sangria kind of day. Normally when a sudden craving for Sangria hits, I have no choice but to venture out into the sweltering heat to find a watering hole, but today I had an idea!
Use frozen fruit to make an instant sangria that doesn't need time to marinate
A few weeks ago I shared a trick for quickly extracting flavors from fruit fresh fruit in my Strawberry Liqueur post. In short, by letting your home freezer do a crappy job at freezing fruit(thereby making large ice crystals in the fruit), the fruit releases all its flavors as it thaws. While it works great for making fruit liqueurs, I've been thinking it should work equally well for making sangria.
Since I have a tendency to buy way more fruit than I can eat when it's on sale, I often have a bunch of fruit sitting in the freezer at the ready to make smoothies and jam. Today, I used a combination of mixed frozen berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries) and a fresh lime, along with a lovely (cheap) Grenache called La Passion from the Cotes Catalanes region of France. Instead of adding juice or brandy, I added some of my Strawberry Liqueur to the Sangria, which not only gave an instant boost of berry flavor, it also added just enough sweetness to the sangria to make it go down like water, without turning it into a cloyingly sweet juice box drink.
The best part is by the time the berries have thawed and its juices have been liberated, the sangria is a perfect temperature to sip, helping you cooling off while letting your cares melt away.
- Put the berries and lime in a large pitcher or jug.
- Add the wine and liqueur.
- Let the mixture steep long enough for the berries to fully melt (about 30 minutes). If you're making this ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator.