The One Big-Batch Drink I Make All Summer Long

It's bright, it's refreshing and it's a crowd pleaser on a hot day.

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May 20, 2019

WATERMELON-­STRAWBERRY SANGRIA, Bobby Flay, Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’sBasics/Bobby’s Basics: Simply Skewers, Food Network, Watermelon, Strawberries, RoseWine, Vodka, Orange Juice, Orange Liqueur, Orange, Lime,WATERMELON-­STRAWBERRY SANGRIA, Bobby Flay, Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’s Basics/Bobby’s Basics: Simply Skewers, Food Network, Watermelon, Strawberries, Rose Wine, Vodka, Orange Juice, Orange Liqueur, Orange, Lime

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

When my husband and I bought our house, we received quite a few housewarming presents, but none confused me more than the punch bowl set that one of my best friends gifted me. So, I smiled, accepted the gift and stuffed it in the basement.

I'm not saying that it's ugly (really, it's quite lovely, check it out below), it's just that I had been living in tiny apartments for so many years that I couldn't fathom such a large object taking up space and — at least in the apartment-dwelling part of my life — I couldn't imagine throwing a party that would require a vat of punch and 8 people milling around that would drink said punch.

The punch bowl lived in purgatory, a.k.a. the basement, until I spotted it a few days before we were set to host our first backyard cookout. It was also going to be the first time my friend who gifted it to me would be at the house for a social gathering and I was already feeling guilty from the last time I saw her, and she asked me how I was liking the punch bowl. What could I say? "It's great! I use it all the time to stack laundry as I'm folding."

After a quick search, I found Bobby's bright pink Watermelon-Strawberry Sangria. Rosé? Check. Refreshing summer fruit? Check. Easy as heck to put together? Check.

It was a huge success. We grilled, ate, drank a little too much sangria, played several rounds of cornhole (poorly), and I got to show my friend I was finally putting her present to good use.

I've gotten requests for the summery sangria every time we host a cookout. In making it so many times I've adapted it depending on what I have in the house and it always comes out great.

A few of my favorite adaptations are: topping it off with seltzer to turn it into a spritzer on a particularly hot day, using orange-flavored vodka and skip the strawberries and add in more citrus fruit.

One thing I always do is fill a freezer-safe bowl or Bundt pan halfway with water and drop in some extra slices of fruit, then freeze until solid. I'll drop in a few more slices of fruit and fill the bowl the rest of the way with water and freeze overnight. I learned this method when our test kitchen was developing a few really awesome punch recipes — it not only looks cool, but keeps the punch cold without diluting it as much as traditional ice cubes would.

And yes, the punch bowl does just take up space most of the year, but I now love the way it brings everyone together at a party and, honestly, makes me feel a little grown up to serve a signature cocktail that all my friends love.

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