Oh, dear friends. Sometimes you just have to let it all go and trust. This past week was a tough one….the Orlando mass shooting (when will this craziness end???) coupled with a really tough week at work. Sometimes you simply need the presence and embrace of those closest to you – those family and friends you turn to when you just need to sit in the stillness and be. This was one of those times. Quiet dinners; peaceful time in the garden; getting behind the lens of my camera to shoot. And gratitude for life’s simple pleasures – my little hummingbirds who stare in the window when I have forgotten to fill their feeder; the little bees buzzing in my lavender and the smell of my basil plants as my knee brushes their edges.
Ahhh, basil, sweet basil. You know how to lighten my mood. I have been playing with basil-infused everything this year. Basil flecked ice cubes. Basil, peach, prosciutto salad (stay tuned!). Basil, arugula pesto (here!) and basil-infused cocktails. Oh my. Happy place.
First up – I tried a basil-infused white sangria. Well, that worked! The recipe is so simple. I used white grapes, white peaches, lime juice, mint and basil. Now, don’t get all worked up about the proportions of the ingredients. Just let it happen. I do not like sweet sangria – but if you do, add more sugar. If you can find a green melon, toss it in. Or how about a cuke? That would be tasty too. Make it yours since you have the rest of the summer to perfect this! 🙂
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- About 1 cup white grapes, cut in half
- 1 peach, sliced
- 1 lime, sliced thinly
- A few sprigs fresh basil
- A few sprigs fresh mint
- 1 lime for juicing
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- Sparkling water or club soda
- Additional sprigs basil, mint for garnish
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar and water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat to cool.
- In a carafe, combine the sugar water (this is called simple syrup!), grapes, peach, sliced lime and sprigs of basil and mint. Pour in the bottle of white white. Add the lime juice. Allow to chill for a few hours.
- To serve, spoon some of the fruit in a glass. Pour the wine over top. Top with some sparkling water or club soda. Garnish with a sprig or two of fresh basil or mint. Serve....ahhhhhhh!
Next up – I spun up a pint of fresh strawberries from the local farm in my blender. Tossed a few tablespoons of the puree with a few ice cubes and about a cup of white wine. Gave that puppy a stir. Topped with club soda, diced fresh basil leaves and a slice of strawberry. That happened! YUM!!
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, divided
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- Club soda
- A few leaves fresh basil, chopped
- Save a few strawberries from the pint for garnish. Clean the remained and toss in a blender. Blend until smooth. Place a few tablespoons of the puree into each glass. Pour in about 1 cup of white wine and a few ice cubes. Stir to incorporate. Top with about ½ cup club soda, a healthy sprinkle of chopped basil. Slice the reserved strawberries and top each glass. Serve! Salute!
This one really doesn’t need a recipe. Again, play with the proportions until you find YOUR happy place.
And remember – give that person you love an extra long hug after you read this. Just.Because.Life.Is.Too.Short.
Salute, dear readers….hugs (abbracci!)