dining al fresco

Rachel Ray's White Sangria Recipe with an Italian twist

Martha Stewart loves Pink Sangria too Late spring and early summer mean two things - white Sangria and picnics.

I love an old-fashioned picnic, spreading out a large tablecloth on the grass, opening the hamper and pulling out the goodies - cold roast chicken, a loaf of crusty bread, briny oil-cured olives, a nice pungent - yes, stinky - cheese, a layered salad full of crispy, crunchy veggies, the requisite deviled eggs, and, of course, an icy pitcher of white Sangria.

It's a wonderful way to spend a sunny afternoon, lounging on a blanket in a grassy meadow, grazing on tasty tidbits and sipping a little Sangria.  We like to make a day of it, bringing cards, board games as well as the wiffle ball and bat. 

It's the perfect playdate.  Eat a little, play a little and everyone's happy.

This Rachel Ray White Sangria recipe is a classic with an Italian twist, using Campari instead of Calvados, which gives the drink a lovely pink color.

Pink Sangria

adapted from a recipe by Rachel Ray

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 shots Campari
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 2 ripe peaches, cut into wedges
  • 1 bottle white Rioja Spanish wine or other dry white wine
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • Sparkling soda water, for topping off glasses of sangria at table


Combine sugar, Campari, lemon, orange and peaches in a large pitcher. Cover with 1 bottle of Rioja wine and chill sangria several hours. To serve, spoon fruits into glasses or goblets, adding a few fresh raspberries in each glass, pour wine over top of the fruit. Top glasses of sangria off with a splash of soda water and serve.

Mother's Day Brunch at Ortine

Huevos Rancheros with cumin-dusted pita chips - BEFORE

Huevos Rancheros with cumin-dusted pita chips - AFTER

This afternoon we sauntered down Washington Avenue to Ortine (622 Washington between Dean and Pacific).  Ortine is run by former Pastis and Schiller's Liquor Bar manager, Sarah Peck, with husband, Steve Giudi.

The name derives from the Italian word ortin, which describes the small plot next to a farm house where workers grew food to feed themselves. It defines the small cafe's philosophy of healthy food, locally produced and simply prepared.

We ate in the charming garden with its budding greenery and new herbs.  The tables and chairs are turquoise blue wicker; a ceramic tiled loveseat sits beneath a evergreen pine a newly leafed tree.  Paper lanterns decorate the distressed paint slat-board fence surrounding the garden.

It was the perfect backdrop for a lazy meal, complete with book propped on the table - a sweet spot for a quiet brunch for two with Mom tomorrow.   

What to order

the plump succulent Portuguese sardines $4
Huevos Rancheros, meaty with Chorizo and thick with black beans $10

A sweet spot for a quiet brunch for two with Mom.   

Ortine opens its outdoor dining amid herb and veggies garden

NY Metromix reviews Ortine When the temperature reaches seventy degrees, Ortine (622 Washington Ave) will open its newly planted outdoor dining area. 

Chef-owner Sarah Peck planted an herb garden as well as an in-ground vegetable garden that not only beautifies the space, but feeds Ortine's customers. 

Select new menu items include Huevos Rancheros, Free-Range Chicken Salad Sandwich, Tempeh Gumbo, Free-Range Chicken Curry Pot Pie, and Rack of Pasture-Raised Lamb. 

Ortine is a short walk from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The outdoor garden will be open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, weather permitting. 

"Ortín" is a word from an old Italian dialect that represents a small garden plot next to a farmhouse where farm workers grew food for themselves. 

Inspired by this word that defines her own eating philosophies, Peck opened Ortine in December of 2008.