It’s officially the height of summer, so it’s time to step into the sun and break out the jams.
A summer jam can be many things, but mostly it should inspire you to crank the stereo to 11, pour a drink and wiggle. Few songs do this as well as the 1991 classic by The Fresh Prince (Will Smith, for those of you who weren’t born yet) and DJ Jazzy Jeff: Summertime, an anthem to everything wonderful about summer.
The challenge, of course, is to create a drink worthy of the lyrics, the music video, the background singers and their glorious chirrup of “summer, summer, summertime.” Start by dropping the brown spirits, ignoring your heavy hitters, putting down the vodka. “You’re invited to a barbecue that’s starting at 4,” as the song goes, so it’s time to whip up a batch of summer’s favorite party cocktail: sangria.
But you can do better than the recipe you’ve been using since you were 21. Upgrade to a base of a summery rose, and hit the farmers market for some lush stone fruit, which are trickling into market from now until September. Peaches, apricots, nectarines — they’re all perfectly lovely swimming in this porch pounder.
Ready the punch bowl. After a few sips of this drink “everybody come lookin’ real fine.”
The Fresh Pink of Bel-Air Sangria
Prep: 15 minutes. Servings: 8 to 10.
2 bottles still rosé wine
1 cup sliced stone fruit (peaches, cherries, apricots or nectarines, or a combination of your choosing)
1 cup sliced strawberries or other ripe berries, like raspberries
1/4 cup elderflower liqueur, such as St-Germain, optional
1 bottle rose sparkling wine
1 cup sparkling water or soda, such as Topo Chico
10 mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
In a punch bowl, pitcher or similar large container, combine the still rose, fruit and liqueur, if using. Give it a good stir and, if you have time, allow to macerate in the fridge for at least 1 hour (though overnight won’t hurt). Just before you serve, add the sparkling rose, water and mint. Serve with fruit floating in the glass and a mint-sprig garnish.