Before we moved, I had a firmly rooted idea of what the Pacific Northwest landscape looked like. I imagined endless shades of grey, abutting murky greens and deep blues – a palette built from the emerald hues of pine forests and shadowy undergrowth, the steely blue water of the ocean and sound, under an invariably muted sky. Or maybe we just watched too many seasons of The Killing.
A temperate, altogether beautiful summer, full of bright days and mild evenings really hadn’t occurred to me. I think I truly expected the Seattle winter to greet us upon arrival, in August. Which sounds so silly to say. And while I know in a month or so that inevitable overcast climate will arrive, shrouding us in cloud-cover and rain for months and months, for the moment, I’m simply enjoying the sweet, simple heaven of these last summer days.
When I last confessed my obsession for summer berries, I wasn’t being completely honest. Or at least not giving you the whole picture. While I’ve been collecting blueberries and blackberries each week at the farmers market like a crazy person, my produce hoarding also extends to summer stone fruit. Peaches (both yellow and white), those adorable little doughnut peaches, nectarines, plums (both red and black), pluots… All currently adorn our kitchen countertops. I just can’t get enough.
This week, the good folks at Williams-Sonoma invited me to create a refreshing end-of-Summer sangria recipe. In the interests of putting my peach hoarding to good use, I whipped up a big batch of white sangria. Traditionally, sangria is made with wine, chopped fruit and brandy or orange liquor (often Grand Marnier). The peaches lately have been fantastic – super juicy and flavorful – so I decided to swap out the extra booze for some fresh peach juice. I kept the chopped fruit (those boozy bits of fruit at the bottom of the glass are too good to pass up), but the intense added flavor of the freshly-juiced peaches took the sangria to another level.
When it comes to juicing fresh fruit, there are a couple of different directions you can go in. Cold-press juicers extract the most juice, using a crushing and pressing mechanism to produce nutrient-rich, flavorful fresh juice. High-Speed juicers are faster (as the name implies), and result in juice with less pulpy texture. You can even use a high-speed, professional blender (such as a Vitamix) to blend fresh fruit into whole-food juice, though, depending on the type of fruit, this may produce a thicker, more smoothie-like (and fiber-rich!) texture. Check out Williams-Sonoma’s juicer reference page, which highlights some of these different styles, and is a nice primer on the juicer types and brands available on the market.
No matter how you juice it, this sangria is like Summer in a bottle and the sort of cocktail just begging for dining al fresco. Happy Labor Day weekend!
This post is in partnership with Williams-Sonoma. Thank you for supporting the companies that keep the Swoon Kitchen running!