Summer Cocktails Tasty All Year ‘Round

Cucumber Agua Fresca and Peach Basil Sangria

Both of these drinks are very easy to make and both can be made with or without alcohol.

The Peach Sangria I have made two ways, the easy way is

with store bought Peach juice the slightly more complicated way is to make your own.  Take about 2 1/2 pounds of peaches, pit them and put them in the food processor.  When they are well processed strain well through a fine mesh sieve this version may require you add more water to thin  it out – or more white wine – you decide!

Peach Basil Sangria

In a medium size sauce pan add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup basil leaves (lightly ripped up), 2 1/4 cups of peach nectar and 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, over medium heat bring to a simmer, turn off once the sugar has melted.  Let sit 30 minutes or more depending on how strong you want the basil to taste.  I don’t like it too strong as I think just a hint of Basil is what makes it taste so good otherwise it’s like Basil Sangria…

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a jug and add remaining peach juice and 1 bottle of light white wine (I use Gruner Veltliner which often comes in a Litre bottle – works for me – but like I always say: taste as you go! Any dry white wine will work in a pinch).

In a small ceramic bowl, peel, pit and slice 4-5 peaches pour over them 1/2 cup fo brandy. let sit for at least 30 minutes.

To serve scoop some brandy soaked Peaches into the bottom of a glass add ice, pour over Sangria and if you want top with a splash of soda and a basil leaf!

I took several artful shots of a glass of Agua Fresca with a cucumber sliced jauntily perched on it’s rim and all of them turned out fuzzy…mmmmmm I wonder if it was a reflection of my state of mind?

So instead I give you a picture of a pitcher of the stuff to show you how it can separate, and not to worry.  Unless of course you want to worry in which case knock yourself out – I used a cheese clothe to strain the cucumber pulp through but if you want it to be very clear you might need to do this process a few times.

Cucumber Agua Fresca

Peel and seed  4-5 good sized cucumbers, cut up into large chunks and place them in the food processor and puree.

Place a cheese cloth over a sieve and let the cucumber mixture drain for a good half hour. The more you press on the solids the  cloudier the liquid will be (it doesn’t change the flavor).

In a jug add 1 cup of water, 2 Tablespoons of Sugar and the juice or 1 or 2 Limes.

Serve over ice with a splash of seltzer if you want and if you want to make a cocktails add 3 parts agua fresca to 1 part Vodka.

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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