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Cheers: Pitcher Perfect

By April 24, 2019 April 25th, 2019 No Comments

By June Naylor
Photos by Aaron Dougherty

Drinks for a Crowd

Easily made ahead and in quantity, sangria is the perfect drink for a crowd. While the gold standard for this fruity Spanish libation is dry red wine imbued with brandy, you can whip up any number of variations with different wine varietals, liqueur combinations and mixes of fresh fruit. Soak the fruit in wine for several hours in advance to get the best depth of flavor, and add more at serving time. Here are two options with Italian and French flair. Salud!

Rob Farrington, beverage director at Del Frisco’s Grille, fashions his summery white sangria with pinot grigio, peach schnapps and fresh peach puree. For a deeper Italian note, you can substitute Pallini peachcello, a peach liqueur from Italy, or Tuaca, the citrus-vanilla liqueur, for the schnapps. A strawberry garnish brightens the color palette.

White Sangria

Serves 10 to 12

  • 2 (750 ml) bottles pinot grigio
  • 1 to 1½ cups peach schnapps, Pallini peachcello or Tuaca (depending how sweet you like it)
  • 1¼ cups pureed frozen peach slices
  • 1 cup lemon-lime soda or lemon or peach sparkling water (again, to vary sweetness)
  • Strawberry slices for garnish

Combine wine, liqueur and peach puree in a large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Add soda or sparkling water just before serving and stir. Garnish with strawberry slices.

Del Frisco’s Grille 154 E. 3rd St., Fort Worth,
817-887-9900; 1200 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817-410-3777; delfriscosgrille.com

Our own creation offers the charm of French rosé (France typically produces the palest pink) mixed with Lillet Blanc, made from a white Bordeaux blend. Add apples, grapes and strawberries, and finish at serving time with a rosé sparkler.

Rosé Sangria

Serves 10 to 12

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced, divided use
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled, sliced thin, divided use
  • 1½ cups mixture green and red seedless grape halves, divided use
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle dry French rosé
  • 1 cup Lillet Blanc
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle dry sparkling French rosé
  • Rosemary sprigs

In a large pitcher, combine half the diced apples, half the strawberries and half the grapes with the bottle of rosО, Lillet and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. (Store the remaining fruit, covered, in fridge; sprinkle reserved diced apple with lemon juice to prevent browning.)  At serving time, strain sangria into a decorative pitcher and discard solids. Add reserved fruit and bottle of sparkling rosО. Serve in wineglasses or flutes and garnish with rosemary sprig.