Every Day/Evening Sangria

Our family has always enjoyed the properties of a single, simple glass of Sangria, especially following a L.O.N.G. day of walking streets, touring museums, scouring markets, and absorbing culture in a distant city…or simply picking up the 5 year olds for the week right here in ENC (Eastern North Carolina)! The top pics below are from a treasured Thanksgiving holiday in London, on a quiet little street in Brenton’s neighborhood, when she was there and studying at Sotheby’s. Dare I say a magical adventure. The London version is a white wine Sangria, and my recipe is for a delightful red wine Sangria. Cheers!

2 oranges, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
2 Tbs superfine sugar
2 (1/5th size ) bottles red wine
2/3 cup Grand Marnier
1 red apple, cored and sliced into thin wedges
Club soda to top up

Place half orange and lemon slices in large pitcher.
Sprinkle with sugar.
Leave to commingle flavors 15 minutes.
Add wine and Grand Marnier.
Refrigerate 1 hour or more.
When ready to serve, add apple slices, remaining orange and lemon slices.
Add ice to tall glasses and pour over.
Top up with small bit of club soda.

Mint Julep

The 2021 Derby is over, but Bourbon and Mint Juleps live on forever!
Here’s to the Weekend. May it be a great one for everyone!

5 sprigs fresh mint
2 sugar cubes
2 oz bourbon

Crush mint and sugar in bottom of glass.
Fill glass with crushed ice.
Add bourbon.
Stir vigorously and serve.

Photography by pegHARDEE

Prosecco and Lemon Sorbet Cocktail

The liveliest little cocktail that you will enjoy all summer…I PROMISE! I mean it’s my new “go to” light summer sipper! In this recent heatwave I’ve been enjoying club soda, on the rocks, in a wine glass, with a wedge of lemon..but, hey, this is a wee bit more festive!

Adult Beverage Lemon Prosecco Cocktail

1 bottle Prosecco, chilled
1 cup vodka, chilled
1 pint lemon sorbet
Lemon wedges for garnish

Combine Prosecco and vodka in small pitcher.
Place scoop of lemon sorbet in each of 4 wine glasses.
Pour Prosecco mixture over sorbet.
Top with a lemon wedge.

Adult Beverage Lemon Prosecco Cocktail Sorbet

Author’s Notes: I prefer my lemon wedge squeezed and in the glass, rather than on the glass rim. Also, I use this wonderful sorbet “SorBabes” brand, Jam’n Lemon flavor. It is made with real lemons and lemon zest that pumps up the flavor to unexpected levels of happiness. Enjoy, and…happy almost weekend!

Saturday is Game Day!

Son and Father, Justin and Wayne Hardee (L to R), Short Stop and Manager of the 1998 LLWS! (Pictured last week in Williamsport to cheer on the 2017 Greenville team.)

It’s Game Day Saturday, 3pm ESPN. Greenville North State will play for the United States Championship, and attempt to take their talents to the Little League World Series FINALS on Sunday. Yep. That’s what I said…a shot at THE title. That’s a lot for these young boys, their coaches, and families to take in. Well hello world…here comes Greenville, NC. So wake up early, break a few eggs in the skillet, lace up your shoes, jump in, and take heart. Our Hardee Family will be gathering in Raleigh at Gray and Marc’s home to watch together. There will be memories shared of the 1998 series when my brother-in-law Wayne and my nephew Justin (happily pictured above) were on the first ever Greenville team to play in the LL World Series.

Perfect Game Day Snack!

So grab a snack or three, and a beverage of choice, and give an illegally loud Whoop Whoop for the Greenville team!

 

Cointreau Vodka Berry Rickey

Adult Beverage Berry Cointreau Rickey

It’s the “freakin’ weekend; baby i’m about to have me some fun!” (Thanks R. Kelly for being a bit R. Rated!) Happy Friday Everyone. It’s a BIG weekend in the collegiate basketball world. So don’t wait for summer to enjoy this berry cocktail. You’re going to muddle the berries and mix them with vodka anyway, so they don’t need to be at their summertime freshest! Enjoy in good health, my friends. It’s beautiful, right?

2 oz Cointreau
1 oz vodka
2 blackberries
2 raspberries
5 mint leaves
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
3 to 4 oz club soda

Muddle berries and mint in bottom of short cocktail glass.
Add crushed ice to rim.
Add Cointreau, lime juice, and top up with club soda.
Stir well.
Garnish with additional berries and mint.

The Kentucky 95

Happy Sunday! We rolled with a Kentucky 95 and Animal Crackers over this icy weekend. This just seems right for brunch, lunch, or five o’clock anywhere, or any time, really! We first tried this last summer with Bobby Flay at Bar Amercain. But in this cold and flu season, we felt a wee bit healthy drinking the oj! These ingredients are in most fridges, so no need to risk the icy driving if you’re still inside like we.

adult-beverage-kentucky-95

3/4 oz Makers Mark or other good quality bourbon
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Ice cubes
Champagne, chilled
Lemon or orange twist for serving

Combine bourbon, lemon juice, orange juice, and simple syrup in tall glass over ice.
Stir well.
Strain into wine glass filled with crushed ice.
Top up with champagne.
Garnish with a twist.

Just In Case You Need An Adult Beverage Tonight…

adult-beverage-versailles-iiiA little something to get you through the returns tonight! Just remember one thing please; we WILL survive, no matter what happens. We WILL wake up tomorrow morning. And we Will pull ourselves up by the ole boot straps and push forward.

And NOW, I happily present The Versailles Cocktail. Enjoy Every Sip My Friends!

2 oz nice bourbon
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz St. Germain
Top up with Champagne

Under the Weather with Ginger Beer

adult-beverages-ginger-beer

Reed’s is Hands Down my favorite. The Q Ginger in the middle is a strong ale and doesn’t deliver on flavor for me. And the Maine Root pictured on the far right is too strong with other added ingredients. I’d go for the Reed’s every time!                        ©PEGhardee

Happy Weekend! As Hurricane Matthew pummels up our Eastern Coast, I’m sending safety vibes for everyone along its path. So, while you are home listening to the rain and winds (or even if you’re not under a storm warning!), enjoy a little cocktail made with Ginger Beer. I love a  Moscow Mule in the summer; but most folks trade that in for a heavier beverage in cooler weather. Heck, don’t put away that ginger beer so fast; simply add it to bourbon and crushed ice. The flavor difference created by adding ginger beer to your bourbon is startlingly wonderful as compared to plain ale. The ginger is much stronger and quite wonderful in the “beer”. Bonus…its really soothing to the tummy…remember when your Mama used to give you ginger ale as a child when you were “under the weather”? Well, we’re under the weather (watch) this weekend, so go for the gusto! Get out your trapper keeper, ’cause here comes an over simplified educational lesson…While the Ginger Beer in the 1800’s was an alcoholic brew, today’s commercial ginger beers are classified as non-alcoholic, as the alcohol content has been reduced to less than a mere 0.5 percent. Find it in your grocery aisle with soft drinks and mixers! So do a double take and improve your outcomes for the weekend ahead. Be safe out there everyone. Nod to my son-in-law, Marc, for introducing me to ginger beer several years back! Thank you dear. Smile.

Raspberry Brut Rosé Ice Cream Float

Well, bless Pat…whoever that is! That’s what my grandmother Smith used to say back in the day to express shock and awe. So, I give you a “back in the day” treat. Warning, this is an adults only float! Tomorrow is hump-day, so add this to your evening and celebrate making it through the first half of the work week. Just keeping it fresh for you.Dessert Raspberry Rose Ice Cream Float

Here’s the what and how to:

1/2 cup raspberries, plus more for garnish
2 Tbs sugar
4 large scoops vanilla ice cream, softened a few minutes
1/4 cup raspberry liqueur
Rosé brut champagne

In blender, purée raspberries and sugar.
Pour in glass.
Rinse blender.
Add ice cream to blender.
Purée until smooth.
Place ice cream in 2 short glasses.
Pour liqueur over ice cream.
Pour raspberry purée over ice cream.
Top with champagne.
Garnish with a few fresh raspberries.
Serve with a straw.

Makes 2 floats.

Champagne Float

Try a little grown up version of the old ice cream float! I’m giving it a solid A+. Mmmmm! Thank you Anne Burrell for sharing the love. (Food Network Magazine, June 2014.)

©PEGhardee

©PEGhardee

12 strawberries, quartered
1 Tbs sugar
1 pint Breyers vanilla ice cream
Bottle Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvee, chilled

Toss berries and sugar in bowl.
Let sit 30 minutes
Divide berries among 4 flutes.
Place small scoop ice cream in each glass.
Top up with champagne.