The beauty of St. Michael, Azores is made up of its lush and vibrant vegetation. Not only are the rolling hills filled with hydrangea and honey suckle, but the St. Michael fruit is like
no where I have been in the world. Passion fruit, pineapple, figs and exotic fruits not even found in the U.S. are found there in great abundance. Many enjoy these deliciously sweet treasures plain and right off the trees, many make wonderful desserts like passion fruit pudding (one of my favorites), but today I have decided to apply it to a refreshing cocktail.
This week I am featuring left overs, so this is meant to use up some extra wine you have from the dinner or a party. Add in a bit of juice, sparkling water and some fruit and you may start opening that bottle of wine just to make this light and airy drink. It’s a simple drink you’ll come back to again and again.
Start by preparing your fruit… First up is the pineapple. I’ll take you through how to easily slice up a pineapple, but if you don’t have one available, you could used canned or frozen pineapple chunks. I start by slicing off the bottom.
Then I cut off the top.
Now it is stable. So, I now start trimming off the sides.
Once I go all the way around the fruit, I cut down the middle.
Then I quarter and cut out the inner core on a diagonal.
Next, I slice it up into chunks.
Now slice up an orange. I like to leave the skin in tact.
Now start measuring out your ingredients. Two cups of sweet wine. This is actually a sweet Sangria wine, but a white zin or a blush or just a plain sweet red wine would be nice here.
This drink that is a cross between a sparkling juice and a soda is a favorite amongst many Portuguese people and indeed can be found throughout the Azores and anywhere Portuguese people have migrated to. If you don’t have passion fruit drink available, look for a passion fruit juice.
Add in pineapple.
Add in oranges.
For best results, you will want to soak the fruit in the wine for 2-3 hours or up to over night.
Once the fruit has been properly steeped in the wine mixture, take a few pieces and place in individual glasses. (then I use fresh fruit to garnish the rims of the glasses as shown here)
Now fill about half way with wine mixture. You need to allow room for ice and sparkling water.
Add in ice.
Here is where you can really customize the drink on the spot. I like my drinks a little less sweet, so I allow more room for sparkling water (on the left). My husband enjoys his with a bit more sweetness, so his (on the right) is filled a bit more to allow for less sparkling water.
Now top with some sparkling water. Again, this is personal preference, but I use unflavored, unsweetened sparkling water. If you like a bit more sweet and still like all the fizz, you can grab a sparkling water with panache! A coconut or pineapple sparkling seltzer would be nice here as well, even a grape.
Now swizzle together. I am using a butter knife. if you have an official drink stirrer, use that of course :)
Recipe for A Taste of St. Michael sparkling Sangria:
2 cups sweet red wine (or any type of sweet wine you have left over)
3 cups Sumol Passion Fruit drink or passion fruit juice
1/2 pineapple, chunks
1 orange, sliced
1 cup sparkling water
8-12 ice cubes
Prepare fruit. Add wine to a pitcher or 10 qt. bowl. Add in passion fruit drink or juice. Add fruit to the liquid. Soak fruit in the liquid for 2-3 hours before serving if possible and up to 1 day before serving.
Pour into glass over ice. Top with sparkling water to match level of sweetness desired (the more water, the less sweet the drink) Mix with stirrer. Serve with fruit rimming the glass.