Suzi's Blog

Sangria Caliente from Sangria by Mittie Hellmich



The planet is experiencing rapid growth: population, pollution, and mixologists.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I do not have bad associations with that mixologist word. In fact, when I retire, I am going to open up a B&B: Bar and Bakery.

But as the number of mixologists grow, as they each get their 15 minutes of fame while flashing out some cocktail de jour, I like to rely on the unsurpassed professionals, like Mittie Hellmich. Go to Amazon, type in her name, and you will find a battery of beverage books. Pick one to start, any one, and you are on your way to mixology heaven.

From her Sangria book, I tried this Sangria Caliente. Definitely caliente. You can see the jalapeno slices in that top-down picture. You don’t see the tequila. Not too much. This is not a “boozy” sangria, but you get some tequila heat to marry with the jalapeno. And both those ingredients bounce off the fruit tones. Apple, peach, plum and apricot are all there to provide a coordinated sweetness. See, as you sip, if you detect each of the flavors.

This is a lovely sangria, definitely a first choice for a hot day. Brunch, lunch, or dinner, this is a vibrant sangria to pair with appetizers or the main meal.

Sangria Caliente

Yield: serves 4 to 6


  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 peach, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 plum, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 apricot, pitted and sliced
  • 3 thin slices fresh or pickled jalapeno pepper, or to taste
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 750 ml bottle dry white wine, chilled
  • 12 ounces club soda, chilled
  • 3 cups ice cubes


In a large [at least 2-quart] glass pitcher, combine the fruit and jalapeno slices, tequila, and sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly pour in the wine, stirring gently. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.

When ready to serve, add the club soda and stir gently with a long-handled wooden spoon. Fill the highballs, wineglasses, or other decorative glass with ice cubes and slowly pour the sangria over the ice, allowing fruit pieces [but never pepper slices!] to fall into the glasses.


Source: Sangria by Mittie Hellmich

Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/50th second at ISO‑3200



Roasted Strawberry and Jalapeno Freezer


There is that old tale, promoted by real estate agents, that if your house is going to be shown, then you should have chocolate chip cookies in the oven. The aroma will sell your house. Not that pool.

Nonsense. You should have strawberries roasting. It’s far more poetic.

From Cocktails for the Four Seasons, by Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher, here’s a flavor bundle that will surely please you. And perhaps confound you, too. I tasted this and could do nothing but smile.

The idea is this. Roast strawberries to intensify their flavor. Freeze them and put the cold gems in a blender with booze and jalapeno simply syrup. The roasted strawberries have an intensified, dark flavor. They are still quite sweet, though, which provides the contrast for the smoky heat of the jalapeno simple syrup. It’s one of those rare times where you can be confused and pleased all at the same time.

I made this drink my own way, of course. I wanted it very cold so some ice cubes went into the blender. Mango flavored rum replaced the coconut — there are times when I want simple fruit sophistication instead of blunt force coconut power. You have leeway here and can use the rum of you daily preference. It’s much less about the rum. Much more about the jalapeno syrup.

Roasted Strawberry and Jalapeno Freezer

Yield: 4 drinks


  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces tequila blanco
  • 6 ounces coconut rum
  • 6 ounces jalapeno simple syrup
  • Juice of two limes
  • 4 strawberries hulled [for garnish]
  • 4 candied jalapeno knots [for garnish, see yesterday’s post]


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spread the strawberries onto a baking sheet and drizzle them with the vinegar and olive oil. Toss them tougher and roast for 30 to 40 minutes.

Allow the strawberries to cool. Pour the berries into a parchment-lined baking dish and place it in the freezer.

Once the strawberries are fully frozen [about 3 hours], place them in a blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into four snifter or hurricane glasses.

Garnish each glass with a candied jalapeno knot and strawberry skewered on a cocktail pick.

Imbibe. Enjoy.

Source: Cocktails for the Four Seasons, by Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher

Photo Information [top]: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/2.8, 1/20th second, ISO-3200