Wet Weekend

I spent the weekend catching up on a few recipes. The first was a recipe for sangria from a couple months ago. It called for mint; I needed mint for juleps, so it was a good chance to down two drinks with one stone. I finally found a package of mint at a Kroger, so I could start mixing.

The sangria was white wine, sliced strawberries and mint left soaking in it overnight, and club soda. I'd bought a 6 pack of 10 oz club sodas so I wouldn't have a liter bottle taking up a shelf in the fridge. My sister liked it at a Mother's Day cookout this noon; she drank most of it. I thought it had a little too much club soda in it, though I overcame my usual aversion to fruit in mixed drinks; the strawberries were good.

My sister's had extensive drinking experience, more than me (she's a Lutheran after all), but this is only the second sangria she's had. Must not be a hot summer drink here in the Heartland. We had chicken on the grill, and it went well with that, but I think I'd prefer a red wine sangria. I liked the hot dogs they grilled for the kids better too. No bun, just mustard; finger food.

Then I moved on to the juleps from last weekend. The first was bourbon and simple syrup with mint as a garnish. I took a few sips, said that's nice, and tossed it down the drain. Not much of a cocktail, sort of a half-mixed Old Fashioned (which my calendar hasn't gotten around to yet this year).

The second was what I consider a typical julep: mint leaves and simple syrup muddled (with a pestle; why buy a muddler?) with bourbon. Better, not bad at all. I'd like to taste one made by a Southerner with years of experience mixing them on the veranda.

Last, a "Churchill Downs cocktail," according to my calendar: bourbon, brandy, triple sec, topped with ginger ale. Not as good as the ginger ale topped-drink from a few weeks ago, but OK. A good drink to sip while watching the horses.