I have some friends who recently opened a pizza cart. Which means that they've spent the bulk of the recent 90 degree evenings sharing 84 square feet with a 1,000 degree oven. It's hot, sticky work. The sort of work that requires a cold drink.
Last night my neighbor and I biked over to share a pie, and I also mixed up a batch of Peach Basil Sangria to share as well. I saw the recipe on a blog a few weeks back, and just had to mix some up for myself. And I'm very glad I did -- it is so summer. It's sweet, crisp, light, and perfect for the season. Make some before the too-brief stone fruit season is gone. If you have the patience and forethought, get your peach a few days in advance, and allow it to sit on your windowsill until it becomes obscenely fragrant and juicy.
Peach Basil Sangria
Gourmet Magazine, July 2005, adapted by notmartha.org, further adapted by me
This recipe calls for peach nectar, which is usually a hybrid of a neutral fruit juice like apple, and some peach puree. Many varieties are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, so read labels carefully if you'd like to avoid that sort of thing.
23 ounces peach nectar (2 cans, or 2/3 of a Looza brand bottle)
zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 cup basil leaves, plus a few additional sprigs or leaves for garnish
1 bottle white wine
1 ripe peach, diced or cut in wedges (depending on whether you'd like it easy to mix into your drink, or easy to fish out)
In a saucepan, combine the peach nectar, basil leaves, and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer, and then remove from heat. Allow to come to room temperature, and then cool in the refrigerator until fully chilled. When chilled, pour through a strainer to remove the zest and basil. Combine the strained infused nectar with the white wine, lemon juice, peach, and the basil leaves that you reserved. Serve over ice.