Mother’s Day Mint and Lime Riesling Sangria

Mother’s Day is almost here! (You all remembered, right?) This Sunday, we’ll be celebrating with a light and airy Mint and Lime Riesling Sangria, one that works like a low-proof Mojito that’s perfect for sipping in polite company. – Andrew

Mint and Lime Riesling Sangria

1 bottle Riesling
4 oz Rum
4 oz Lime Juice
4 oz Mint Syrup
1 oz Vanilla Bean Syrup
2 bottles Elderflower Tonic
2 Limes, Sliced
2-3 Mint Sprigs

To make the mint syrup: blanch six sprigs of mint in boiling water for about 15 seconds, then plunge them into a bowl of ice water for about a minute. Then, combine a cup of water and a cup of sugar (I use white, which preserves the mint’s color) in a saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the blanched mint and sugar syrup into a blender and blend the mint into a pulp. Strain through cheesecloth to remove the mint pulp and bottle.

To make the vanilla bean syrup: take one whole vanilla bean and split it lengthwise. Combine the vanilla bean with a cup of raw sugar and a cup of water in a saucepan. Muddle the vanilla bean to release its pulp. Simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Strain through cheesecloth to remove the vanilla pup and bottle.

To make the Sangria: combine the Riesling, rum, lime juice, and syrups in a pitcher with the lime slices and give it a stir. Let everything combine overnight in the refrigerator. Shortly before you’re ready to serve, add the mint sprigs and top with the tonic water. Garnish each glass with a slice of lime and some mint leaves and enjoy!

This Sangria came about when Nole challenged me to make her something like a Mojito, just with a lower proof so we could sip it during an afternoon party without getting too buzzed. We settled on Riesling – a little oaky, a little sweet, a little floral – as a good alternative to the Mojito’s rum.

I went with a mint syrup, because I really wanted this Sangria to pack a minty punch, but when I first tried this recipe the mint flavor kept disappearing. Then I landed on the idea of adding a bit of vanilla syrup, which both makes the mint pop and adds a note of warm spice. That extra ounce of syrup also helps balance out the bitterness of the tonic, which gives this Sangria some extra floral notes and a crisp effervescence.

So get ready for Sunday and start a batch early!

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Glassware by Liquorary

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

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