With the temperatures this week hitting the 80’s and in some spots here in Jersey close to 90, it’s time to turn the early spring dial to late spring early summer and start thinking about backyard fun and summer cocktails to refresh that parched palate on a hot spring and summer day. This will do it. A sure sign that it’s time to get ready for the warmth of summer and all the necessary components that comes with your summer passage. One of those components is your summer cocktails.

Here is one summer cocktail that you’ll love making now and frequently throughout your summer fun. I was introduced to this peach sangria by a friend and absolutely think it’s the best. The drink exudes summer and is a great way to entertain friends and family. So even though it’s still spring, it couldn’t hurt for you to make a pitcher or two of this before you open the pool. It will get you in the summer mood and well prepped for a full summer of fun.

There are lots of recipes out there but sometimes I like making it with just peaches as the fruit component. It's so refreshing and you can get incredible Jersey Fresh peaches this time of year that make this sangria extra special.

The Grand Marnier adds an orange character to complement the peaches and the brandy adds a nice depth to the drink which I think balances the freshness. Enjoy the summer, sit back and enjoy a great pitcher of one of my summer favorites.

You'll need:

2 (750-ml) bottles white wine, chilled
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup of Grand Marnier
1/2 cup peach liqueur
1/4 cup of silver tequila
2 white peaches, sliced
1/2 cup of white peach puree
2 cans of ginger ale

How to put it together:

I like to make the peach puree in a blender but you could also buy fresh peach juice or puree in the store. To make at home simply peel the skin, remove the pit and blend until really smooth. Add the peach puree to a large pitcher.

Slice the other two peaches into slices and add to the pitcher. Now add everything else, the brandy, Grand Marnier, tequila, liqueur and wine. Stir gently with a wooden or plastic spoon, don’t use a metal spoon.

Chill for at least an hour, add a splash of ginger ale to each glass before serving. Enjoy.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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