Saturday, June 11, 2011

Grape Citrus Spritzer

Sparkling water is my go to drink of the moment.  I first fell in love with sparkling water during my college years.  I was on a summer trip in Rome, sightseeing with a few friends.  It was a July day reaching well into the and humid.  We spent the day traipsing around ancient ruins, exploring side streets, and climbing the Spanish Steps.  It was on this day, parched and tired, I was ready and willing to hand over any amount of lira (this was before the days of the euro) to the wonderful man selling cold bottled water on the street.  It was then I discovered my choice between still water, and the surprisingly delicious "with gas" option, or acqua gassata.  Since then, I find myself seeking out Pellegrino in restaurants and often pack seltzer water in my lunch bag.  There are many flavored sparkling waters I've come across since.  This recipe is my take on sparkling water with a little twist.  It couldn't be easier.  I'm sure this would be just as good with blueberry juice or any other juice of your choice.   

I make this recipe two ways.  The first way is unsweetened.  If you are used to drinking sparkling water on it's own and don't mind a bit of tartness, try it unsweetened.  If you prefer your drinks on the sweeter side, go ahead and add the sugar and adjust it to your liking.  I like to make a big pitcher of this and leave it in the fridge on warm days.  I've even made a pitcher of this for the holidays.  It has a deep purple jewel tone and looks as pretty as it does festive. 

~Grape Citrus Spritzer Recipe~
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining

2 1/2 cups unsweetened all natural grape juice
juice of 4 lemons (1/2 cup)
juice of 4 limes (1/4 cup)
1 bottle of sparkling water (1 litre)
1/2 cup sugar (if using) and 1/2 water to make a simple syrup
1 lime sliced to garnish

Fill a pitcher a quarter of the way with ice cubes.  Add in the grape, lemon, and lime juice.  If you are making the sweetened version, heat the sugar and water in a saucepan on low.  Add this simple syrup to the pitcher once it has cooled.  Mix with a large wooden spoon and a few slices of lime to garnish.   

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