The May we had in Winnipeg has been on the brisk side.
To be honest, so cold we had the heat on last week.
But now it’s June, and that means Summer.
Okay, not really for three more weeks, but the cottages have been readied and everyone has summer on the brain.
Sangria is perfect for this time of year.
It has something alcoholic (usually wine - either red or white) and chopped fruit.
The alcohol is a bit watered down, so there’s less risk of dehydration.
Think of it as a warm weather version of mulled wine.
In honour of June’s Full Strawberry Moon, why not make a pitcher of Strawberry Sangria.
People first talked about sangria in the 18th century.
Some say they got the name from the Spanish word sangre (blood) because of the red colour of the drink.
Others say it comes from Sanskrit as in the Urdu word sakkari (sugared wine).
Whatever… in the late 1940s Hispanic Americans and Spanish restaurants introduced Sangria to the United States and it really became popular when the 1964 World's Fair in New York was in full swing.
Dry white wines such as a Rueda, Jumilla, or Valdepeñas are traditional for sangria with white wine.
Other popular choices are Pinot Grigio, moscato and Sauvignon Blanc.
You can also use red or rose wine.
Don’t have strawberries? No problem. You can use whatever fruit you have on hand, such as apples, peaches, melon, berries, pineapple, grapes, kiwifruit or mangoes.
You can sweeten it with honey, sugar, syrup, or orange juice.
Seltzer, Sprite or 7 Up can be used to top up the pitcher.
Allow the sangria to mellow in the refrigerator for several hours, or a full day.
Add the soda (if you’re using it) just before serving.
Have on hand plenty of ice to refill the bucket.
This way your friends can add as much ice as they want, and the flavour won’t get watered down.
For the kiddies you could make sangria using ginger ale, lemon juice, orange juice and sugar.
And lots of fruit!
Yield: 8 servings
Cut into thin slices
1 lemon or orange
3 Cups fresh strawberries
Pour into a large pitcher
2 750 ml. bottles of dry white wine (see above for ideas)
2 Cups strawberry-cranberry juice or strawberry nectar or pomegranate juice
the sliced strawberries
the lemon or orange slices
Cover the pitcher and place it in the refrigerator.
Let chill for several hours or overnight.
When ready to serve fill glasses 3/4 full with the sangria mixture.
Be sure to get some strawberries and lemon or orange slices in the glass, too.
Top off each glass with
Chilled club soda or sparkling water
mint leaves and a whole strawberry
Have on hand plenty of ice for people to serve themselves.
About the sky this week and next, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac…
June 3 - Venus is farthest from the Sun. Look to the south after sunset to see the waxing gibbous Moon just 2 degrees north of Jupiter. The Moon and Jupiter will be two brightest and the first objects out at dusk. The bright star Spica in the constellation Virgo, will also join the pair, below them and to the left.
June 4 - Look to the east after the Sun sets to see this trio: the waxing gibbous Moon with the star Spica below it; to the right is Jupiter.
June 9 - Full Strawberry Moon at 9:10 a.m. See how this Moon got its name in this short Farmers’ Almanac video. When the full Moon rises it will be just past apogee - its farthest point from Earth, at a distance of 252,526 miles. It will, in fact, be the smallest (to us) full Moon of 2017. See if you can detect its smaller-than-normal size that night. Compared to the so-called “Supermoon” of last November 14th, the June full Moon will appear 12.3 percent smaller.
June 12 - Look for the Big Dipper asterism, the most recognizable star pattern in our night sky. It will be high in the north during the evening hours during the month of June.
June 14 - Earliest sunrise of 2017. This happens every year around mid-June, despite the year’s longest day - the Summer Solstice - is one week away.