Breakfast Sangria with Sweet Summer Fruits and Herbs

I have started out lying to you. Sangria is a word similar to Champagne--meaning its use in labeling is restricted to a geographical location--although the word itself does not represent a region. Sangria is a drink that comes from Spain and Portugal, so it must be from there if it is going to be labeled so.

But we use the name to describe the refreshing summer drink that typically has some combination of wine, fruit, juice, and possibly a syrup, brandy, and fizzy water.

My favorite season is summer, even here in the Midwest where it can be hot and humid--I love tropical weather! And the perfect afternoon drink, in my opinion is something fruity (but not too sweet) and a bit sparkly.

So when I was preparing for a cooking class that I will be teaching this week that will focus on cool summer salads, I wanted to add a sangria to the mix. But I am not allowed to use alcohol for the class, so I decided to try a nonalcoholic version. So this drink has strayed quite far from a true sangria, but it is inspired by the spirit! (and you can always add the wine if you like)

I was working on the first batch in the morning, which is when I realized that it is actually a lovely summer breakfast drink, hence the name breakfast sangria.

This recipe is based on what is in season now, and is really just a guideline--you can use whatever you have available in your garden or at your local farmers’ market.

Ingredients

½ cup raspberry simple syrup (instructions below)

2 cups fresh raspberries, divided

2 peaches, cubed

2 sprigs basil, one torn, one for garnish

1 quart club soda or other sparkling water

Optional: Juice of 1 lemon or lime

Instructions

Combine raspberries, peaches, torn basil, and syrup in a pitcher (and lemon or lime if you like). Add club soda and stir lightly when you are ready to serve, and pour over a glass of ice.

Raspberry Simple Syrup Ingredients

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 cup raspberries

Instructions

Combine 1 cup water and one cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir mixture until sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat just as the mixture starts to boil and add the raspberries. Mash the raspberries in the sugar water mixture and let steep for several minutes. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer and let cool. Mixture will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.