As I was walking through the wet market, I was excited to see that the summer fruits had finally come into season. I was inspired to create a fresh summer recipe to celebrate their gorgeous tropical flavors and go beyond the ubiquitous fruit salad. And what’s more summery than sangria? This tropical version blends the tartness of passion fruit with the juicy sweetness of lychees for a decidedly Asian twist on the Spanish original.
The ginger kaffir syrup adds a spicy kick and highlights the kaffir leaf’s tangy, strong flavor. The recipe below will make way more syrup than you’ll need for the sangria but consider that a bonus: the syrup is a delicious addition to homemade soda, ice pops, sorbet, iced tea, chia pudding and more. The sirup keeps in the refrigerator for a month or so.
A few pitchers of this sangria would not go remiss on a summer junk or at a rooftop barbecue. Ideally, make both the syrup and the sangria the day before you need it to really give the flavors time to combine.
One tip: find the driest rose you can. If the wine is too sweet, the sangria will be too! You want a contrast between the dry wine and the sweetness of the fruits.
For The Sangria – serves 4 to 6
- 750ml dry rosé wine (sparkling optional)
- 300g lychees, peeled, deseeded
- 3 pieces passionfruit
- 1 lime
- 60ml berry liqueur (like Chambord)
- 60ml ginger kaffir lime syrup (recipe below)
- 100ml soda water (optional)
For The Ginger Kaffir Sirup – yields one cup
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 cup coconut flower sugar
- 1 large piece ginger, unpeeled
- 2 dried kaffir lime leaves
For The Ginger Kaffir Sirup
- Wash the ginger thoroughly then slice thinly.
- Combine all syrup ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes. It will remain thin. If you want a thicker syrup you can simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Set aside and cool for at least two hours.
For The Sangria
- Roughly chop the lychees into large pieces, then add to a large pitcher-style container.
- Slice open the passionfruit, scoop out the flesh and add to the lychees.
- Wash the lime and thinly slice before throwing it into the pitcher.
- Pour in the berry liqueur and rosé wine.
- Add the ginger kaffir syrup to taste.
- If your rose isn’t sparkling, add the soda water, then taste again. Add more syrup if needed.
- Let the sangria sit in the fridge: the longer the better.
- Serve in tumblers over ice cubes.
After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in New York, Chef Anthony J. Damico trained in kitchens in Texas, Barcelona, Guangdong, and Hong Kong for over a decade. In recent years, his career has focused on plant-based cuisine with international influences. He is passionate about sharing the wealth of knowledge he has accumulated to help eaters everywhere make informed decisions and create delicious dishes. Damico is also an aspiring photographer, make sure to check out his beautiful portfolio on Instagram.
All images courtesy of Anthony Damico.