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Divas: Sangria and popsicles starring: Boxed Wine

Summer weekends were made for gathering friends in a shady spot where the breeze is warm and the drinks are cold. Here’s how to throw a spirited little party that won’t break the bank. We’ll enlist the help of our frugal little friend – boxed wine.

I know some people recoil at the thought of serving boxed wine. In defense of spigot-wielding wine, it’s so much better than it was a few years ago. Many high-end wine producers are thinking inside the box as an economical and ecofriendly way to get wine to consumers. So, if you’re entertaining a crowd or just imbibing on a budget, proudly opt for the box.

Boxed wine sangria is the penny-pinching partier’s best friend. I have a gorgeous recipe pairing for you today that’s so light and refreshing it hurts. Just kidding, it feels good.

But first, a lesson in sangria. There are seven elements to make perfect sangria. They are: wine, fruit, sweetener, booze for a kick, juice, mixer or bubbles, and garnish.

Red, rosé or white, any variety can make terrific sangria. It’s a matter of pairing the right additions with the wine. When you taste the fruity notes in the flavor profile of the wine, it will tell you what fruit it wants to be friends with.

Life literally gave me lemons this week and that inspired this bright Sparkling Lemon Sangria. To add some pop to our sizzle let’s make Lemon Raspberry Popsicles to dip in our sangria to add color, flavor and keep our sangria cold. Perfect summer combination. Dip, slurp, sip, repeat.

Sparkling Lemon Sangria

What You’ll Need:

Makes one (½ gallon) pitcher.

3 cups dry white wine – I used Franzia Crisp White

1 cup lemonade – fresh squeezed and lightly sweetened, ideally.

½ cup vodka

1 to 2 cups mixed fruit – sliced lemon, lime and frozen raspberries

1 to 2 cups seltzer water, or lemon sparkling water or lemon-lime soda

Here’s How:

Measurements can be adjusted to your taste. Mix wine, lemonade, vodka and fruit in a large pitcher and refrigerate 2 hours to overnight. Just before serving add the seltzer water and stir. Serve in tumbler glasses with more sliced fruit as garnish accompanied with the popsicle recipe below.

What I love about lemon sangria is it’s not too sweet. It’s zingy. If you like yours sweeter, use lemon-lime soda or lemon sparkling water instead of seltzer.

Lemon Raspberry Popsicles

What You’ll Need:

Lemonade

Lemon-lime soda

Frozen raspberries

Here’s How:

We’re going to make these popsicles in layers. Mix equal parts lemonade and lemon lime soda and carefully fill the bottom one third of your ice pop mold and freeze with popsicle sticks. Mix the next third with whole frozen raspberries surrounded by lemonade soda mixture. For the final third; mash defrosted raspberries with the lemon and soda mixture to make a colorful flavorful top layer. Freeze until completely frozen. Serve with lemon sangria.

Here’s wishing you a party that sparkles and pops, embracing box wine. If you still want to hide the box, I won’t tell.

Frugal Festivity by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! NEW website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join us on Face-book at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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