DRINK

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The creators of National Sangria Day in December must have confused their seasons, because this fruit-filled classic is best savored under the warm rays of the summer sun. The crowd-pleaser first made its way to the United States from Spain in 1964 when it was introduced at the World’s Fair in New York. Since then, this party punch has become a staple at get-togethers and barbecues around the States. The following recipe features Grand Marnier distilled with orange essence and is a twist on the traditional sangria. But keep in mind that this recipe is just a guide -- don’t be afraid to be adventurous with the drink. After all, it began by just throwing wine and fruit together.


Grand Sangria


1 cup seedless grapes, red or black
1 lemon, sliced and seeded
1 orange, sliced and seeded
2 apples, red and green, cored and cut into half-inch wedges
4 tablespoons of superfine sugar
1 cup Grand Marnier
2 cinnamon sticks
1 bottle chilled red wine
6 ounces fresh lime juice
2 cups chilled orange juice

Soak the fruit with sugar, Grand Marnier, and cinnamon for at least one hour. Stir in chilled wine, lime juice, and orange juice. Add more sugar to taste, discard cinnamon sticks, and serve chilled. Top off with fresh pomegranate or fresh figs if desired (makes a half gallon).

Pog Punch


1 1/2 parts Skyy Infusions Pineapple
1 1/2 parts fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 part guava puree

In an ice-filled shaker, combine all ingredients, shake, and strain into an ice-filled scorpion bowl . Garnish with floating orchid and pineapple. Accessorize with straws.


The Flavors of Summer


Xanté
Rum and vodka aren’t the only liqueurs that can be fruity: Xanté is a blend of sweet virgin pears, vanilla, and cognac.

Bacardi Dragon Berry

This rum merges the classic taste of strawberry with the dynamic flavor of the exotic dragon fruit.

V. Georgio Acai

Featuring the tiny superfruit acai, which is loaded with free-radical-fighting antioxidants, this vodka’s flavor is reminiscent of blueberries and grapes.

Absolut Mango

Absolut exploits the “king of fruit” for its sweetness and full-bodied taste to create a natural drink with no sugar added.

Skyy Infusions Pineapple

The exotic taste of sun-ripened pineapple combined with natural ingredients makes this refreshing new vodka the perfect mixer for summer cocktails.