Prosecco sangria adds pop to any happy hour

Maureen Petrosky
The Kitchn.com

On a recent trip to my local farmers’ market, I stopped for chats with a cheesemaker, a farmer and an apiarist (a beekeeper), and left with a bag full of hunter-green cucumbers, a log of fresh goat cheese and a jar of local honey. A quick pit stop for a bottle of chilled Prosecco, and I was well on my way to a very happy Happy Hour.

Sangria doesn’t have to be super sugary — in fact, all of my recipes lean toward the lighter, brighter side. For this one, I used a honey syrup instead of the traditional sugar, added spicy notes of ginger, and finished things off with refreshing bubbles from a sparkling wine.

You can use cava in place of Prosecco, if that’s what you have on hand; any light bubbly wine will work. Garden-fresh cucumbers make this drink pretty, and lend nice aromatics and a taste of summer to your pitcher.

Serve this sangria alongside some fresh cheese, such as a soft goat cheese drizzled with local honey or a fresh mozzarella topped with really good extra-virgin olive oil, and voila! All you have to do is invite a few friends over to make this a perfect happy hour.

Cucumber, Ginger and Prosecco

Sangria

1/2 cup light honey

1/2 cup water

3/4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1 large strip of lemon peel, no pith

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced cucumber

1/2 cup brandy

1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed and discarded

1 750-ml bottle Prosecco, chilled

Combine the honey, water, ginger and lemon peel in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and then strain.

In a pitcher, combine the cucumber, ginger syrup and brandy. Add the lemon slices and stir. If you have time, let this sangria base chill in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to serve, top the pitcher off with the chilled Prosecco. Serve immediately over ice, being sure to scoop some cucumber and lemon slices into each glass.