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FreshTartSteph Recipe: Basil Blossom Sangria


I had The Best meeting last week, outside in the warm sun, sipping a gorgeous sangria made by my friend Tracy Morgan of Kitchen in the Market. We were chatting about all sorts of very serious things—logos, web design, cooking classes, and shoes—with a rather long discussion regarding the merits of a sangria that doesn't need to be made a day ahead.

As Tracy noted when she emailed me the recipe: "So my general spiel on this is that it needs to be simple, quick and reasonably affordable. I have spent way too much time in the past dorking around with overwrought ingredients and infusing the bases overnight blah blah. I love fresh herbs as a way to add flavor quickly and I only need to run out to my garden to make it happen."

I can attest to the fact that this sangria hits the ground running and is the perfect balance of fruity and floral for a warm spring day.

And speaking of warm spring days... If you're captured by the idea of preserving a bit of the season's bounty to enjoy when Minnesota days are dark, grey, and dreary, sign up for the Provisions class I'm teaching with Chef Scott Pampuch at Kitchen in the Market. The first of three classes is this coming Thursday evening, where we'll be making pickles, flavored salts, and pestos, and discussing preserving techniques and recipes for the whole growing season, as well as enjoying drinks and treats to taste and take home. We hope to see you there!

Also, for food lovers, food industry types, photographers, writers, PR & marketing professionals, growers, publishers, editors, wanna-be bloggers, occasional bloggers, full-time bloggers, and on and on and on: You're welcome to join me and the Minnesota Food Bloggers at the TECHmunch Conference Saturday, June 2, at 514 Studios in Minneapolis. We'll spend the day talking food trends, social media, technology, and blogging as a business with the likes of fellow Taste blogger Jason ReDusha, and other local favorites like Andrew Zimmern, Daniel Klein, Zoe Francois, and Stephanie March. With an evening reception at Fulton Beer to cap the festivities, the day promises to be packed with information, networking, deliciousness, and beer. We hope to see you there, too!

In the meantime, plan your questions while sipping this loveliness...

Basil Blossom Sangria

Tracy Morgan, Kitchen in the Market

1 bottle of light, fruity red (or white, your preference)—a Pinot Noir is lovely
16-32 oz. of fresh-squeezed (or the best you can buy) lemonade
1/2 bottle of bubbly or sparkling water for fizz
2-3 oz. grand marnier, limoncello (or whatever liqueur-type thing you love to fortify the sangria and give it a little extra hum)
about 1/2-1 T orange blossom water (could use any flower water, really)
a handful of fresh basil (bash the leaves slightly and toss it in—thyme would be awesome too, like lemon thyme!)
1 orange, sliced

Stir all of the ingredients together in a large punch bowl. Depending on your lemonade, you may want to add a little honey or agave if you need more sweetness. Taste as you go— you'll usually adjust with straight citrus or sweetener, but sometimes it needs to be boozier too!

Serve from a glass pitcher over ice, garnished with slices of orange and basil.

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

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