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Surprise Birthday & Summer Sangria

August 7, 2012

Have you ever been involved with planning & executing a surprise birthday party? It ain’t easy! Carole had worked for weeks planning, calling, cooking, hiding & she pulled it off with the help of friends & neighbors. The part DH & I played was to host a birthday dinner to get them out of the house so everyone could arrive.
I presented Harry with his presents, two recipes written just for the occasion, & we sat down for some conversation, my Rendezvous platter, blue corn chips & my homemade salsa. Sweet Sara & I were texting to know the “go” time which is when I gave the signal, “I need to get the Sweet Potato Puff in the oven if we are going to eat tonight!” To which Carole answered, Oh, but I want Harry to open his present first! DH, can you help me? I can’t move it by myself.” So DH & Carole walked next door with me slowing Harry to talk to the cat, note the dry condition of my lawn & see what was disturbing Moxie in the backyard.
Then, SURPRISE! Smiles all around & an evening of wonderful fellowship with friends.
Oh, & the first question Harry had for me, “When are we going to eat the Sweet Potato Puff?” Guess who will be planning a real dinner party soon?

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Summer Birthday Sangria


  • 1/4 fresh Basil Leaves (8 gm)
  • 1/4 cup fresh Spearmint Leaves
  • 2 1/2-inch Lime Slices
  • 1 cup Rye Whiskey
  • 1.5 Liter bottle Dry White
  • 1 cup Peach Schnapps
  • 1 cup pureed Cantaloupe
  • 2 cups pureed fresh Peaches
  • 1 liter bottle Sparkling Water, chilled
  • Frozen Peach Slices & Cantaloupe Chunks for garnish (optional)


  1. In cocktail shaker, muddle leaves.
  2. Add lime & muddle again.
  3. Add rye whiskey, shake vigorously & set aside.
  4. Add remaining ingredients except sparkling water to glass gallon jar or lovely glass pitcher, stirring well.
  5. Strain leaves/whiskey emulsion into jar.
  6. Chill.
  7. Pour into glasses, topping off with a splash or so of sparkling water.
  8. Garnish with frozen peach slice & cantaloupe chunk.

I was going to make this with red wine but the small watermelon that I had been saving all week was not ripe, so I quickly made an adjustment & used a lovely cantaloupe with white wine. (DH had a big bottle of Fetzer Echo Ridge Sauvignon Blanc available.)

Happy Birthday, Harry!


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