Making an evening “cool” in the height of the summer is … not an easy task in our part of the country. However, if you look to the gems of tropical climates, you might be able to find an answer: citrus. This time of year, a big party with course after course of hearty food is just a little too stuffy, too heavy, too much. Why not look to narrow the focus to easy apps and a make-ahead cocktail with citrus at the heart of it all? Sangria is a popular summer drink, and to make it even lighter, mix things up by trying a white wine version. As for apps, nothing is easier than cheese and crackers, but a variation using a cooler alternative to the old familiar cheddar – something such as ricotta, mozzarella or burrata – is a delicious option for a laid-back get-together. Pair it with tangerines, mangoes, mandarins or even a citrus-y jam for a memorable treat that’s still supremely easy to put together. Use stark white plates and clear glasses for your fare, so your milieu will be as refreshing as your menu. Keeping it simple keeps your guests at ease, and everyone will be the cooler for it.
Cheers to Summer
Make-ahead White Wine Sangria
- 2 grapefruits, sliced
- 2 blood oranges, sliced (you can use regular oranges instead, if you’d rather)
- 2 limes, sliced
- 2 lemons, sliced
- Fresh mint
- 2 bottles of white wine, chilled
Combine all in a pitcher and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.