Still, I'm not a big believer in working hard for my cocktail. So this recipe is a breeze to assemble. Just dump and stir in the morning, then let it chill for a few hours before serving. Whatever you do, don't add ice until it's in the glass, and even then keep it to one or two cubes at most. Nobody wants a watered down cocktail.
For this recipe, I call for cava — the sparkling wine of Spain — but feel free to substitute the bubbles of your choice. Or if you'd rather cut the alcohol a little (can't imagine why, but whatever), ginger beer or a lemon-lime soda are fine substitutes.
PEACH AND RASPBERRY SANGRIA WITH CAVA AND STRAWBERRY ICE
Start to finish: 10 minutes active, plus 2 to 4 hours chilling
1 cup brandy
1 cup peach juice
1/2 cup simple syrup or agave syrup
750-millilitre bottle dry red wine (such as rioja)
6 ounces fresh raspberries
2 oranges, thinly sliced
2 limes, thinly sliced
16-ounce bag frozen strawberries
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
750-millilitre bottle cava (or other sparkling wine)
In a large pitcher, stir together the brandy, peach juice and syrup until the syrup is dissolved. Add the wine and stir again. Stir in the raspberries, oranges and limes, then cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
Meanwhile, in a blender combine the strawberries, orange juice and sugar. Puree until very smooth. Pour into 2 ice cube trays, then freeze for 2 to 4 hours, or until solid.
When ready to serve, slowly pour the cava into the pitcher. Stir once or twice gently just to mix. Pour into serving glasses, then add 1 to 2 frozen strawberry cubes to each glass.
J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch. Email him at email@example.com