chapter ii

chapter ii


Hostess with the Mostest

While Lauren can whip up tasty treats like it's nobody's business, she also knows a thing or two about mixing up delightful cocktails. Some tips are as simple as adding cucumber slices 
rather than lime sometimes for an extra refreshing summer toddy...others take a bit more time, but are well worth the bit of effort and time. 
Her sangria is one of my favorites, and will probably become one of yours too...if you're smart enough to make a bunch of pitchers for your friends...because that's what friendly little s'mores do...make weekends a very happy place. 

What's not to love about Sangria?  Especially white sangria, which looks (and is) so refreshing, with its chunks of fresh fruit and wisps of mint leaves.  It is like an adult fruit salad that makes everything seem festive and light and right with the world.  It is also extremely easy to make for a houseful of thirsty friends.  Advance preparation is advantageous for both successful hostessing and for allowing the ambrosial sangria flavors to meld.  To that end, I would suggest concocting the base (which makes for easy refilling) up to 6 hours in advance. Use any fruit you like, varying color, flavor and texture.  Citrus and apples are a must, but bananas are a sangria killer.  As for the main ingredient, wine, my pick is always vinho verde for its effervescence, acidity and price point.

(sidenote:this Opala was on sale last week at Whole Foods for $8 a bottle, and was good...)

The following recipe will make sufficient "base" for 8 bottles of wine, or about 60 small glasses.

750 mL vodka
1/2 cup Cointreau or other orange liqueur (St. Germaine would be great too)
1 bottle vinho verde
4 each lemons limes, quartered lengthwise and sliced thin
3 each granny smith apples and oranges, cut in 8ths lengthwise and sliced thin
3/4 pound bing cherries, cut in half, pits removed
1 pt raspberries, halved
1 pint blueberries
1 bunch mint, chiffonaded
Sugar to taste, think 1/4 cup

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate.  Just before guests arrive, ladle 1/8 of mixture into a pitcher.  Better yet, have two pitchers on hand.  Pour in a bottle of chilled vinho verde.  Serve on ice and warn your guests that the fruit has been soaking in vodka for hours...  Repeat until sangria runs out.

CAUTION: Drinking alcohol can impair judgement.... matter how fashionable you are.

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