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June 21 is upon us, the day when the sun is a prisoner of the Tropic of Cancer. Captured there for awhile, the sun stands still, rewarding us with the longest day of the year and the shortest night on Earth (at least for us Northern Hemisphere folks). It is the solstice time, when summer is officially granted permission to enter the area. As summer arrives in all its glory, it brings in the season for beaches, barbecues, melting hot asphalt, long lazy days, summer dresses and flip-flops and most of all, beautifully vibrant summer produce. This truly is something to be celebrated, hence pour yourself a glass and toast to the summer of 2014.
Summer Solstice Sangria
6 to 8 servings
1 bottle of dry, minerally white wine
¼ cup super-fine sugar
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 Honeycrisp, Crispin or Pink Lady apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 Bosc or Anjou pear, cored and thinly sliced
6 whole cardamom pods
4 medium basil leaves
3 tarragon leaves
In a large pitcher, combine the wine and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the seltzer, and mix well. Chill the sangria in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
To serve, spoon the fruit into glasses or goblets, and then add some of the wine mixture to the glass. Top with a splash of soda water and serve.