Kicking Off Summer With A Punch

This week marks the end of the first half of 2018. It also marks the official start of summer and the traditional weekend trek for many of us to the cottage. Donna-Marie’s family heads away to Fenelon Falls, the summer home of her husband’s extended family. The weekend includes a trip through Little Britain for butter tarts (at a bakery aptly named Buttertarts & More), cruising downtown for the annual Midnight Madness event on Saturday evening followed by the spectacular fireworks display on the water on July 1.  But the event that everyone eagerly anticipates is the Lobsterfest potluck dinner that sees 25 to 30 family members sitting down to fresh cooked lobster, and array of cold salads, slow cooker pulled pork and Grandma Mary’s home baked pies. As Uncle Dale says “its madness I say, madness”.

With strawberries in peak season right now, Donna-Marie likes to bring a large thermos of her favourite sangria to the party. This delightful Spanish wine punch has been gracing red and white picnic cloths and restaurants with outdoor seating for years.  While sangria can trace its earliest roots back to the Greeks and Romans, it’s the Spanish who have truly perfected this beverage. It became popular in the US at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City when it was served as the feature drink in the Spanish pavilion. Today under European law, all sangria must be made in Spain or Portugal and have less than 12% alcohol by volume.  But the best sangria is homemade. Our recipe is a change from the traditional version, and is lighter and not so alcoholic, making it perfect for summer sipping.

RECIPE FROM OUR KITCHEN: Strawberry Summer Sangria