Friday, September 20, 2013

Watermelon Strawberry Sangria

What's summer without sangria? Better yet, what's work-life balance without an office sangria contest? I've only made sangria from scratch once before and I've mostly just had sangria from a local Thai restaurant so my sangria taste buds are not finely tuned yet.

Thus I turned to the experts: Joy the Baker and my family. What typically happens on family vacay is we all want to relax and drink beers or wine and for some reason worry these things won't be readily available to us so we all bring beer or wine or drink recipes and just end up with a lot of beverages because we never drink as much as we say we will or want to (I guess that's a good thing though). 

So I made this sangria and tried a glass straight away. Wow does that packs a punch! Hint: definitely let it sit overnight to absorb some of the fruit flavors. This turned out very refreshing and cool. Using about half a watermelon to create four cups of juice and some puréed strawberries as well, it provides a cool but sweet flavor. Citrus juices compliment the sweet well and cut the bite of the vodka. 

Now, this was for a competition so I prepared well and made very precise lemon slices for presentation purposes. The competition had about seven sangrias and of course we all sampled each others prior to the audience judging. It's amazing how many different kinds of sangria there are! There was another watermelon one but it was completely different from this one, and equally delicious I might add. 

Although I got a lot of compliments and even some popular votes, alas mine was not award winning. I really wanted to label this "Joy the Baker's Award Winning Sangria" but I guess I'll keep on trying. The winner, however, had quite the eclectic combination of liquors, even tequila! Usually that's a deal breaker for me but it worked here very well (clearly since it won the judges and audience prizes).

Well, with summer coming to a close, it seemed appropriate to end with a summer drink. As far as I'm concerned, September is fall. Even though it's still warm and technically summer for three weeks of the month, I say bring on the pumpkin! 

Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin picking, apple picking, apple cider, cider donuts, it goes on and on (and in an increasingly digressive fashion).  

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