My roommate and I moved into our new apartment in late March, but we didn’t throw a housewarming party until last week. Why? First of all, we were disorganized busy. But more importantly, everyone knows that summer is a much better time to throw a party! Back when we schlepped all of our belongings across the city, it was cold and rainy and our cute party dresses were still in storage. Now that it’s July—well sure, it’s scorching hot, but all the more reason to pour a cool summer cocktail and head to the roof. So that’s exactly what we did.
The event was a pot luck, and, being kind of a dud in the kitchen (or at least more of one than my roommate, who is a certified whiz), I decided that my best bet was to take care of drinks. But I didn’t want to just put out a tub of beer and a bottle of Coke and call it a day. Oh no. If I was going to be the bartender, I was going to do it right. So I flipped open my copy of the gorgeous Artisan book Raising the Bar (seriously, have you seen the cover?) and found the perfect punch for the night: a beautiful golden champagne sangria. It didn’t take long to assemble, and the results looked spectacular and tasted even better: sweet and fruity, and very refreshing on a hot July night in New York.
So follow the recipe below and treat yourself to a cool drink. Go on, it’s hot; you deserve it.
Champagne Sangria (page 171 in Raising the Bar by Nick Mautone)
Makes fifteen 8-ounce servings
- 4 plums, pitted and cut in thick wedges
- 1/2 cup superfine or confectioners’ sugar
- 32 ounces apricot nectar or peach, pear, or other nectar, chilled
- 16 ounces plum wine, chilled
- 8 ounces brandy, chilled
- two 750-milliliter bottles sparkling wine (champagne), chilled
- mint leaves for garnish
Plan ahead: Chill all ingredients for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Place the plums and sugar in a punch bowl and stir well to extract juice.
Add the nectar, plum wine, and brandy. Stir well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Add the sparkling wine and stir briefly to combine.
Float mint leaves on top and serve immediately. And enjoy!