This post has been sponsored by Chambord. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Must be 21 or older to consume alcohol. Please drink responsibly.
How much time have you spent with your girlfriends this summer? If you have young kids home from school, the answer is probably none. We’ve been off traveling through Europe all summer long which was magical, amazing, memories I will cherish forever, and all that, but I really miss shooting the breeze with my ladies.
There is nothing like an out-and-out pow-wow with your girls. It is something I’m almost positive no mom does enough. So before summer is out I want to encourage you to call up a few friends, kick your adorable husband and children out the house, and have some serious girl time. It feels good to remind yourself every once in a while what life was like before your heart belonged to another.
When my pals at Chambord asked if I would come up with a summer drink recipe it seemed a perfect opportunity to offer up a fun idea for an easy Girls Night Out. These last days of summer always seem to be the hottest so ice-cold sangria is basically all I’m thinking about where entertaining is concerned. But instead of making one pitcher how about you let your friends make their own combinations by putting together a sangria bar?
Here’s the deal: You make a fruity nectar for the sangria by cooking down some fresh nectarines with a little sugar, water and lavender then blending the nectarine mixture with Chambord.
If you’ve never tried Chambord, girl it is time. Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur made with XO cognac. It has a dark berry flavor with hints of vanilla. Aside from making delicious sangria, you can also add a splash or two in a glass of sparkling wine to make one of my favorite Champagne cocktails.
This nectarine-black raspberry puree will be the base from which everyone can add their preferred type of wine (red or white), their favorite sparkling juice or ginger beer, and their choice of fruits and herbs.
I went for stone fruits because my stone fruit guy was at the Farmer’s market and you’d have to be crazy to pass up his selection of black plums, nectarines, and peaches. But really whatever fruit looks good where you are is game. Other options would be berries of all sorts, watermelon, or really any kind of melon, you get the idea. As for the herbs I like to use fresh basil and mint. The Chambord sangria base has lavender in it, so you could pick up on those notes and have some fresh lavender flowers for adding to the drinks as well. I have lots of lavender growing in my yard, so I pick the flowers to use in my cooking all the time. You can buy lavender online or if you can’t find any, that’s okay, just leave it out.
Cut all the fruit in pieces small enough to fit in the glass and set it out on a table or bar along with the Chambord Sangria Base, washed and dried herb leaves, glasses, ice, open bottles of wine, and a nice selection of sparkling juices and/or ginger beer. The final touch is drink stirrers for combining the cocktail and a cute little recipe card to help everyone know what to add to mix the perfect drink!
For the Chambord Sangria Base:
- 3 ripe nectarines, pitted, peeled, and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 5 lavender buds
- 1 cup Chambord
For the Bar:
- 1 bottle chilled white wine
- 1 bottle chilled red wine
- 1-3 bottles chilled sparkling juice (get a couple of different kinds for variation. I got sparkling lemonade and sparkling berry lemonade)
- 1-4 bottles chilled ginger beer
- 3-4 different types of ripe fresh fruit, sliced
- 1-2 types of fresh herb leaves (about 1 bunch each)
- To make the Chambord base, combine nectarines, water, sugar, and lavender in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until fruit is soft, about 5 minutes.
- Let cool then transfer mixture to a blender, add Chambord, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a serving pitcher, cover, and chill until cold. You can do this the day before if you’d like.
- Arrange all the elements on a table or bar for everyone to help themselves.
- To make a drink, add a few pieces of ice to a wine glass. Then add 1 part Chambord base with 1 part wine and 1 part sparkling juice or ginger beer. Add a few pieces of fruit and some herb leaves, stir and enjoy.