Rosé Sangria

Some of my favorite summer foods are fruits – and the sweet and juicy berries and peaches that I’ve been finding in Virginia are almost enough to make me not miss Indian mangoes. But a few weeks ago, I finally gave in and decided to buy some mangoes, knowing full well that it would not measure up to the mangoes I was used to. And while that was true, it did help me fulfill my craving, and I barely missed their usual lack of juiciness when mixed in with some sangria. And speaking of favorites, sangria is one of my favorite summer drinks – it’s not only delicious, but also incredibly easy to throw together. When making sangria, do not bother using fancy wine – any mediocre bottle of wine will do. The only trick is to let the fruits rest in the wine for at least a few hours so that the wine can acquire some of the sweetness and acidity from the fruits. I use a combination of blackberries, raspberries and mangoes in this recipe, but feel free to substitute peaches, blueberries and nectarines.

For this sangria, I decided to go with some rosé wine. I am usually not a huge fan of rosé – they can sometimes be a little too dry for me and I usually prefer sweeter and floral whites. But lately, in tasting several wines for our wedding, I’m hooked to the 2014 Norton Rosé from Keswick Vineyards and so I feel underwhelmed by most other rosés. And fortunately, we always have the option to make sangria with underwhelming wines!

Rosé Sangria

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry rosé wine
  • 1/3 cup triple sec
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (if desired)
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 large mango, diced into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 and 1/2 cups seltzer water (I used peach-flavored seltzer water)

Directions

  1. Pour the Rosé into a pitcher. Stir in the triple sec and lemon juice.  Add the fruits.
  2. Chill for a few hours (preferably at least 3-4 hours). Taste, and add sugar if desired.
  3. Right before serving, add the seltzer water to the pitcher, then pour the sangria into glasses.
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A Summer Full of Mangoes

There are a few saving graces to spending a summer in India, and one of them is having the most delicious mangoes on the planet (Okay, so I might be slightly biased, but they’re still pretty hard to beat!). I didn’t start off being in love with with fruit though, I initially fell in love with Frooti as a child. A sugary mango fruit drink, Frooti was that perfect way to quench thirst on a hot, lazy afternoon, and Coco-Cola soon came up with their own answer to compete with Frooti – Maaza.

Frooti!

There is a strong regional rivalry in India when it comes to deciding the best mangoes. While Alphonsos, grown in Gujarat and Maharashtra, are often touted to be the best by those living in the south of the country, my personal favorites are Safedas and Chausas. Despite India being the biggest exporter of mangoes, the biggest disappointment so far  remains the lack of enforcement of the nukes-for-mangoes deal between India and US.  In 2008, a civilian nuclear agreement was reached between the US and India, one of whose lesser known clauses was the decision to import a lot more mangoes from India. However, the enforcement of the treaty is questionable at best, leaving those of in the States to fend for themselves with their lesser, mediocre mangoes. Indian expatriates who cannot spend their summers without mangoes might want to consider living in the UAE, which is supposedly the biggest importer of Indian mangoes. For those who are more curious, here’s some good ol’ Indo-Pak rivalry extending into the mango trading business.

Besides mango milkshake, which I feel like is the most obvious and easiest thing to make when you have mangoes lying around at home, here are 5 great and easy things that you can make with mangoes at home:

1. Mango Chutney

Using just half a dozen ingredients, you can eat this as a spread on a sandwich, with roti, parathas, papads, or just as a dip.

http://whatwouldjaishreedo.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/did-you-make-this-mango-chutney/

2.  Mango Lassi

Using just 2 ingredients – mangoes and yogurt, you can easily make mango lassi at home. Depending on the kind of mango you’re using, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar you want to add

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mango-lassi-ii/

Mango Lassi

3. Mango Ice-Cream

My recipe on homemade chocolate ice-cream can be adapted to make mango ice-cream at home as well. Instead of using cocoa powder, use a full mango for every 500 ml of whole milk. Again, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the mango that you are using. Though safedas make pretty decent mango ice cream, my choice for making ice cream is chausa.

Mango Ice Cream

4. Mango Lime Granita

Granitas are basically iced versions of fruits – and are perfect to be had either on their own, or as a topping to a creamy dessert.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/ginger-mango-granita-recipe/index.html

5. Mango Salsa

As an alternative to the tomato salsa that you might eat around the year – you can have this mango salsa with either tacos or fish to get that perfect tangy, yet fruity combination. For those who like this, you might want to try a kiwi salsa as well. Though this particular recipe does not include it, I would throw in an avocado and some chopped tomatoes as well.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mango-salsa/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=mango&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Recipe

Mango Salsa
(Photo Courtesy: http://eclecticrecipes.com/mango-salsa)

So how do you like to eat your mangoes?