Sunday, 31 May 2015

Summer Fruit White Wine Sangria

".. ..the heat was so intense that Babur was surprised any living thing could stir. As the days passed, the flat, brown, dry landscape with its teeming people beneath a relentless sun began to oppress Babur. He felt leached of life and vitality. It was not much better at night when mosquitoes whined and his attendants could do little to cool his tent designed for colder climes. He found no refreshment in looking at the sluggish Jumna. Its fetid banks of cracked mud made him long for the swift rivers and bracing air of his homeland."

That is an excerpt from Alex Rutherford's 'Raiders From The North', chronicling the life and times of Babur, the first Emperor of the Mughal Empire. And that passage describes, Babur's first tryst with the Indian Summer. The man has my sympathies. I am Indian, born and bred, and till date I haven't figured out a way to bear the scorching cruelty of the Indian Summer. Coming as he did from the lush and fertile Fergana Valley, set in the cooler climes of Central Asia, little wonder that the Indian Summer was such a shock to his system. But then, such were the treasures and riches of India, that going back was never an option.

History tells us that to deal with crushing homesickness that engulfed him, he turned to one of his favourite fruits from his homeland, melons. The legend has it that every time he cut open a melon, he wept for his homeland. Clearly, the summer heat did a number on him!

So fond was he of the fruit that he taught his gardeners to grow them here. And so, much like Babur and his sons, the melons of Central Asia would find a home in India.

And good for us. For on a hot, listless Summer afternoon, the succour that a slice or two of chilled melon provides can never be expressed in words. It needs to be experienced. Some like it with a squirt of lemon on it, but I like it just as it is. Especially, these days when the heat wave just does not seem to end!

And I think I might have a found one more way of using melons. And it is in this beautiful sangria recipe that I came across. It is white wine that is flavoured with the flavours of Summer - melons, mangoes and mint. Think of it as Summer in a glass!

The success of this sangria lies in using ripe, fresh fruit. Longer the fruit is allowed to steep in the wine, more likely that the flavour of the fruits will shine through. And look at that beautiful colour! It is fresh, light, fruity with mild zesty tones that will perk up any Summer afternoon or night!

History also tells us of Babur's fondness for wine and I'd like to believe that this sangria that combines his love for both wine and melons would have gotten his royal seal of approval. As am pretty sure that it will get yours too!!

Summer Fruit White Wine Sangria

Serves 3-4

Minimally adapted from this recipe by Martha Stewart
  • 2 cups of fresh, summer fruit, sliced, deseeded and cut into chunks (I used 1 ripe mango and 1/2 musk melon)
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup Orange liqueur such as Cointreau (I used a homemade vodka based liqueur)
  • 1/2 bottle crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Ice
  • In a large bowl or pitcher, combine fruit, mint and orange liqueur. Mash gently with the back of a wooden spoon until mint is bruised and fruit releases juices. Add wine and lemon juice and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to 1 day). To serve, fill the glasses with ice and top with sangria.


  1. Hey do you have a plum and frangipane cake or tart recipe?? The plums are gorg and I (Shockingly) have this desire to bake! If so do a post quickkkkly!!! :)

    1. Ooo.. then we can't let such an opportunity pass us by!! :) Unfortunately, I wont be able to put up a post till the weekend..this week I have been caught up with a crazy project... that isn't giving me any time for anything else!! I did make cherry frangipane tarts..its an old post from 2012.. you can replace the cherries with halved and pitted plums!! the link is

      There is also a link in there to the Joy of baking website that might have more recipes! if you have any questions/clarifications, just mail me at'll be able to reply more quickly than on the blog!!! Hope this helps!! :) xx Sarvani

  2. Thanks sweetie!! I typed out a long reply on my latest baking disaster..but it got lost in translation! I think I'm hanging up my apron for a while now, cant subject my family to any more!!

    1. What?!? No no.. I won't let you hang up the apron just yet!! Gimme some time (a few weeks).. and we'll plan a joint baking sojourn together ..(we'll figure it out over whatsapp/mail) determined that you shall serve the husbent and family some cake for tea!!

    2. HAAHAHAHAHHAHA neither the husbent nor I are EVER home for Tea! He'll kill me if i bunk work to bake!! I baked from 11pm to 2 am last night/this morning when I got home from work..banana-coffee-walnut cake- one of the two things I could bake like 15 years back (the other being apple pie and I'm not venturing!) and it was flat, raw in the middle and tasted yum! I think i should stick to no bake desserts.

    3. Hahaa.. On weekends bebe!! it's the only time anyone has time to bake or for tea!! ;) Just wondering.. do you think your oven's heating is not working properly??.. it happened to me in the middle.. all my cakes were raw in the middle.. turns out the heating on the lower end of the oven was not working.. got it fixed (a pain!) and everything was good again!!


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