Rose Sangria for Spring
So this is a bit of a hefty post partially because I have a lot of links and a sub-recipe here, but also because this spring strawberry sangria was taken on the first real spring day when the sun was out and my windows were open. I just couldn't stop clicking away. I hope you become as hypnotized by this slightly sweet, and herbal sangria that will make even the most picky of cocktail drinkers jump for joy.
There are a few key ingredients to this recipe, that can't really be replicated. Number one, is the Square One Basil Vodka. I bought this at Grapes and Grains in Barrington, RI. The only basil vodka I have personally seen on the market, I can't really compare products here, however I can tell you that every dollar I spent on this bottle was worth it. When I opened it up, the most amazing light and herbal smell just wafted everywhere without the super strong alcohol-y-ness. I can see future mixtures with this guy! He will definitely show up here on the blog again :)
The next key ingredient is the rhubarb syrup (see recipe below). There really is zero excuse for making this on your own, because it takes such a short period of time and is worth it's weight in gold. Drizzle over vanilla ice cream, add seltzer and make homemade rhubarb soda or use in this recipe. I made just enough for this recipe here, but feel free to double or triple and keep around for a few days (it won't last much longer).
The next thing to make sure is mentioned is the rose. For the best strawberry taste you will want something french. Hear me out, French Rose is a) delicious b) affordable if you look in the right places. I have many favorites from Bottles where they have many under $15.
I only added strawberries here, because I wanted to keep it simple, the fresh basil keeps it looking fresh and fun and if you plan a great pesto or have fresh basil in the backyard just take as much as you need to keep the final product for your guests fun. At a certain point the extra basil won't add much more flavor.
The other thing to note is that the Strawberry flavor really only comes from the Rose wine, and then the strawberries themselves. Because of this I used a strawberry seltzer water available at my local Whole Foods. Their mint variation is amazing, and so I knew the strawberry would be a great addition. This is however NOT necessary.
SPRING STRAWBERRY BASIL SANGRIA
- 1/2 cup rhubarb syrup (see recipe below)
- 1 cup basil vodka
- 1 bottle rose wine
- 10-15 strawberries sliced
- handful of fresh basil chopped
- seltzer water
Start by mixing the basil vodka, strawberries and rhubarb syrup together in your carafe and cover. Place in fridge and let sit for at least 1 hr and no more than 3hrs. Once the strawberries have taken in the nice flavor, add the bottle of rose and the basil.
To serve add ice to a glass and pour 2/3 of the way with the sangria mixture. Top with seltzer. Add a nice strawberry slice and basil leaf to garnish.
Chop two rhubarb stalks evenly and add to sauce pan on stove with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 of a cup of sugar.
Let boil, reduce to simmer and let cook for at least 15 minutes until the rhubarb has broken down. Strain and squeeze all the juice out of the pulp. Make sure you stir along the way so the reduction does not burn or stick.
Keep the pulp! Add it to your toast in the morning, you will think I am crazy, but it is 100% worth every calorie.