White Sangria

Prepare this Spanish libation the day before for best flavor and add the chilled sparkling water just before serving. We use white Rioja wine, but any dry white wine will work.

1/3 cup brandy
1/3 cup peach schnapps
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 (750-milliliter) bottles white Rioja wine, chilled
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 small navel orange, quartered and sliced
1 green apple, cored and sliced
1 ripe peach, peeled and sliced
1 (12-ounce) bottle sparkling water, chilled

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large pitcher; stir to dissolve sugar. Stir in wine and next 4 ingredients (through peach). Chill at least 2 hours or until cold.
2. Stir in sparkling water.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

Spiked Peach Limeade Granita

4 cups water
3 cups peach slices (about 3 medium)
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 mint leaves
1 1/3 cups fresh lime juice
3/4 cup rum
Peach slices (optional)
Fresh mint sprigs (optional)

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Cool, and discard mint.
2. Place half of peach mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed peach mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish. Combine remaining peach mixture, juice, and rum in blender; process until smooth. Add to baking dish.
3. Freeze 8 hours or until firm. Remove mixture from freezer; scrape entire mixture with a fork until fluffy. Serve immediately. Garnish with peach slices and mint sprigs, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

Blood Orange Sangría

Any good-quality, fruity red wine works well in this cold sipper; a combination of pinot noir and Beaujolais is particularly good. The vermilion flesh of blood oranges (which come into season in December) is lovely. But if they’re not available, substitute navel oranges.

2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups apple juice
2/3 cup Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
1/2 cup sugar
4 whole cloves
3 seedless blood oranges, each cut into 16 wedges
2 (750-milliliter) bottles fruity red wine
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher, and stir until sugar dissolves. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Discard cloves and cinnamon sticks. Pour sangría into individual glasses, including the fruit.

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)