Today began with my slogging through a backlog of e-mails, which included this plea from my Minnesota-livin’ bestie, Danette: ”I’m hosting a Cajun boil this Saturday. Some of the ladies are either pregnant or breastfeeding so they can’t go too hard on the cocktails. We’d like to have fun pitchers of mixers that would taste good as their own drink, or you could spike them with some booze. Rescue your friend who falls back on cranberry juice and vodka whenever I have to mix a drink!”
I suggested just making a really good Bloody Mary mix and letting people choose to spike it with vodka. I also suggested (after a bit of Googling on my part, I wish I could claim total credit) a virgin white sangria. Wuh? How you make-a sangria with no alcodehol?
White grape juice isn’t anything I’ve worked with before (or drank, ever, I think), but I had a hunch. So basically what I made was a mixture of juices, which teetotalers could spike with club soda — or even better, ginger ale — and drinkers could douse with vodka — or much better, grappa.
And then, because drinkers always win, I added more alcohol to it to make it a bona fide cocktail, one that just begs for a porch and for all this wintry weather to end.
The Sangria Cooler
2 ounces grappa
1/4 teaspoon Campari
3/4 ounces white grape juice
3/4 ounces pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 dash Fee Brothers Barrel Aged Bitters
Combine the grappa, juices, Camapari and bitters in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into ice-filled tumbler. Top off with ginger ale.