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.