Non-Alcoholic Sangria Punch10
There is nothing like hot Summer nights sitting outside enjoying a gorgeous meal with friends. Oh, I almost feel like breaking out into a tune from Grease! The weather in Springfield is just delightful this week, as we prepare for a fabulous Fourth of July weekend full of great food and good company. My friend Kris, and her sister Gretchen, (who is visiting from Virginia) have been blending up all kinds of delicious vegetarian treats this week and chowing down with gratitude. Gretchen, I am still salivating over your home made guacamole. “Oh, show me the way to piggy Heaven“!
We had a “Vegetarian Mexican Taco Buffet Feast” dinner party last night and the food was just exceptional. "Fresh and simple" was the name of the game, and we were cooking with gas! Vegetarian fajitas, fresh tomato salsa, Mexican tomatillo sauce, beans, cilantro lime rice and guacamole. Throw in some love, laughter and fun, and you’ve got a perfect blend. I will post some of these easy healthy recipes later this month. But for today, it is all about the drinks!
As I was sitting on the patio last week sipping on a glass of home made lemonade planning the menu, I was dreaming up other refreshing mocktails that would keep us content and refreshed in the event we became too “over refreshed” with Kent’s famous margaritas that come with a cheeky disclaimer, “These have brought many a daring person down”! I felt that we might be in need of something tart to bring us back to life. I kept remembering the phenomenal Sangria I drank in Portugal with my cast mates while we were touring there with a show many years ago.
For a zesty Summer drink, you just can’t go past a good Sangria, which never fails to refresh and satisfy. Sangria is an alcoholic punch native to Spain, that is typically made with red wine, fruit juice, fruit, sugar and soda water. It is also served in Portugal, Mexico, and all over Central and South America, and the rest of Europe. What a perfect addition to our vegetarian taco feast! I decided to blend up a non-alcoholic sangria punch as a safe alternative to Kent’s dangerous margaritas!
There are a ton of wonderful non-alcoholic sangria recipes out there that use a variety of fruits too. A lot of recipes use pears and apples. But I really like the tartness of citrus fruits; and you know me -- any excuse to use lemon and limes! I used an equal mix of unsweetened cranberry juice and red grape juice to keep the punch that lovely burnt blood red colour that resembles sangria wine. Then I added a little bit of freshly squeezed orange juice to balance out the flavours. Most sangria recipes add in chopped fruit. But I like to blend everything up to get a lovely rustic velvety texture. Throwing in a whole orange, lemon and lime gives it a zesty edge; and the fruit and juice is so naturally sweet that there is no need for any additional sweetener. If you are looking for killer Vitamix recipes and blender recipes this non-alchoholic sangria punch is amazing!
The results were spectacular, so I had to share this last minute concoction with you as refreshing drink to offer up at your next Summer BBQ or picnic. Just a note about this non-alcoholic sangria punch: make sure you give the flavours time to infuse before serving for the best results. The mint is a delicious touch. The best thing about this sangria? It is sugar free, non-alcoholic, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free and soy free. It can be enjoyed by everyone. Sangria aficionados will claim that non-alcoholic Sangria is just glorified fruit punch; but it hits the spot for me!
Blend up this refreshing sugar free drink for your next Summer party – it is yummy!
Non-Alcoholic Sangria Punch
- 2 cups unsweetened pure cranberry juice
- 2 cups unsweetened pure red grape juice
- 1 cup fresh unsweetened orange juice
- 4 cups San Pellegrino or sparkling mineral water
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 large lemon – skinned and flesh chopped
- 1 fresh lime – skinned and flesh chopped
- 2 cups frozen cranberries
- 1 orange skinned and flesh chopped
- 1 cup fresh mint rustically chopped
- Place all of the ingredients except the San Pellegrino and the mint in the blender (I use my Vitamix) and pulse a few times until rustically combined.
- Transfer to a punch bowl.
- Rustically chop the mint in the mini food processor or by hand and then add to the mix.
- Chill in the fridge for at least a few hours to allow the flavours to infuse.
- Just before serving, add in the San Pellegrino and give it a good stir.
- Serve over ice cubes and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
- Serves 8.
Blend, Chill and Enjoy! YUM!
Piggy Cooking Tips
freeze fresh lime juice in ice cube trays for later
Fresh limes can be really expensive when they are not in season. To ensure you always have a stash of fresh lime juice, freeze juice in ice cube trays and defrost them as you need them for recipes. These ice cubes also make fantastic additions to flavour water, mocktails and smoothies.