We’re in the hottest, sweatiest part of summer in the northern hemisphere. These are the dog days—and not because we want to loll around in the shade with our tongues hanging out like a couple of bluetick hounds. Apparently the period is so named because Sirius, the dog star, rises and sets with the sun. That’s about as much scholarship as we care to indulge when it’s this hot.
But the temperatures give us a great excuse to revive a drink we have been making since Hector was a pup. Or at least since we cribbed it from a 1970s Bon Appétit! magazine. It’s an extremely refreshing white wine sangría with the added punch of Orange Curaçao.
For several years we endured an aesthetic crisis of having to choose between Triple Sec and Blue Curaçao as the liqueur because none of our local liquor stores seemed to carry Orange Curaçao. Both have the right flavor because they are made with sugar cane alcohol and Lahara oranges, but Blue Curaçao is often too low in alcohol and makes the drink look weird. (We call it Blue Lagoon.) And Triple Sec lacks the nice orange color. The crisis seems over. Thanks to widespread embrace of cocktails, Orange Curaçao is back on the shelves.
This white wine sangría is basically a wine cocktail that’s very thirst-quenching and very alcoholic in a sneaky way. We like to mix it up in Mason jars and stick them in the freezer until very, very cold but not quite slushy. Serve with lots of the macerated citrus and a splash of seltzer.
WHITE WINE SANGRÍA
1/4 cup sugar
750 ml bottle of dry, fruit-forward white wine
1/3 cup Orange Curaçao
1 juice orange, halved and cut into slices
1 small lemon, halved and cut into slices
1 lime, halved and cut into slices
seltzer to taste
Add sugar to wine in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Whisk well to dissolve sugar. Stir in Orange Curaçao. Add sliced fruit and stir to mix. Let macerate in refrigerator for at least two hours but not overnight. (It gets too bitter.) One-half hour before serving, move to freezer to give mixture a deep chill.