berries & booze
Most people might think pie or jam when facing quarts of fruit, but my thoughts frequently wander toward the alcoholic. Last weekend's adult beverage: blueberry wine sangria. Traditionally, sangria consists of wine, fruit, your sweetener of choice, and a schlug of brandy. Some people also add a carbonated beverage. Because sweetness and level of alcohol are matters of personal taste, feel free to tweak my recipe and make it your own.
1 bottle blueberry wine
1/2 cup limoncello
1/2 cup blueberry syrup
1/2 cup mixed fruit (I tossed a few raspberries and red currants in with the blueberries.)
2 cups orangina
Blueberries combine so nicely with citrus...this punch goes down very easily.
If you're looking for a stronger cocktail, try soaking your fruit in something distilled to create your own liqueur. The first liqueurs were often the work of monks who claimed to appreciate the medicinal properties of the brew. These recipes were fiercely guarded and some (like Chartreuse, made by Carthusian monks since 1737) remain trade secrets today.
Fortunately, most modern day home brewers are more generous with their recipes. As with sangrias, everyone has their own preferred level of sweetness and alcoholic strength. I subscribe to Gunther Anderson's modus operandi: "Guess. Make the liqueur. Guess again. Repeat until it tastes good."
To start, I imagine which booze might combine best with the fruit at hand. For blueberries, I'm thinking rum and maple syrup, or maybe vodka, lemon zest, and white sugar. You know what I'll be doing next weekend...