by Judith Fertig
Stir up a pitcher on a hot day, and sit back and relax. It's summer!
For the fresh herb syrup
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup packed fresh lemon balm or basil leaves, coarsely chopped
For the sangria
2 (750-milliliter) bottles semi-dry white wine, chilled
2/3 cup Fresh Herb Syrup
2/3 cup triple sec
1 liter sparkling water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 cups fresh fruits in season (such as peach slices, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or gooseberries)
8 sprigs lemon balm or basil, for garnish
Make the herb syrup
In a large, microwave-safe glass measuring cup, combine the sugar, water, and herbs. Microwave on high power until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Let the mixture steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool before using.
Make the sangria
Combine the wine, syrup, triple sec, sparkling water, and lime juice over ice in a large pitcher. Add some of the fruit to the pitcher, and portion the rest among 8 glasses. Pour in the sangria, then garnish each glass with a sprig of lemon balm.
Photo: Ben Pieper