A couple years ago I went on a trip to Uruguay with my friend Lindsay and a few of her friends from New York. Born and raised Argentines, they went to Punta del Este in the summers like we in Seattle go to Lake Chelan. We stayed in an amazing house right on the beach, bathed in the sun during the day and dined late into the evening. Every day we’d load up the Jeep with a full cooler and sun chairs, head down a two lane highway surrounded by sand dunes, then turn suddenly into the hillside. We’d off-road a few seconds only to park in the middle of the beach. Nothing around but the waves. As the sun faded in late afternoon, we’d pack up and drive to a seaside bar to drink sangria and enjoy salty snacks.
Clerico is a popular cocktail of Uruguay, made by pouring white wine over freshly cut apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries and grapes. We’d order a pitcher for the four of us and dine on calamari. Now every time I drink Sangria it takes me back to the feeling of salty warm skin on a beach side patio.
Back in Seattle on Memorial Day weekend, Eddie and I settle into Sunday afternoon, he is pickling asparagus and I am in the mood for Clerico. At the grocery store today the peaches smelled especially ripe and I got the idea: peach rhubarb Sangria! We got a few stalks of rhubarb from his mom (it was her grandmothers seed!) and I began the testing.
If you’re having a party, make a Clerico bar. Slice fresh ripe fruit and set into separate bowls. Have chilled bottles of white wine on hand and a muddler (optional). Let guests design their own cocktail as they mash fruit lightly to extract sweet nectar then pour enough wine to fill the glass! I like to add an ice cube because nothing is more refreshing than icy white wine on a hot summer day.
1 tablespoon fresh peach, cubed
1/2 tablespoon fresh rhubarb, sliced
5oz white wine, chilled
1 ice cube
In a small glass, add peach and rhubarb; muddle, add ice cube and fill glass with wine.
Get creative! The options are endless, but here’s two interesting variations:
Add 1 tablespoon mango
Add 1 tablespoon blueberries
For a group:
2 ripe peaches, sliced and cubed
1 stalk rhubarb
1 bottle white wine, chilled
Follow the same instructions above.