When it’s been raining cats and dogs for the last 20 days and all of your efforts to entertain outdoors have been foiled, you start to really get a big build up of festive thoughts with nothing to do about it. Does this happen to you? I literally thought I was going to explode if I didn’t host something good. Something fun and different. I usually host a big party about once a season, but this was different. I HAD to have a party, it was oozing out of my pours as I sat day after day, happy hour after happy hour indoors, watching the rain pour down.
It’s almost as if I was trying to challenge Mother Nature when I felt the need to schedule an outdoor Moroccan dinner party. And sure enough, she took my challenge. The original date of the party got rained out, so I turned right around and rescheduled it for two days later. Did I mention that if I didn’t host something I was going to explode?
Ok, I’m going to disappoint a lot of you here, but this Sangria has no alcohol. WHAT?!?! Yes, you read that right. Sans alcohol, alcohol free, virgin. Which leads you to your second thought… why in the world would you want to drink a cocktail without the best part? Well, mostly because Matt and I are smack in the midst of another Whole 30. So, we haven’t been drinking for the last 20 days. In that 20 days, I got really really nostalgic about summer happy hour. I was just drinking my sparkling water with lime and was a little underwhelmed. I also have a few pregnant friends right now, and I think they were feeling a little underwhelmed with their drink choices too, so I whipped this recipe up.
Here is how the idea came to me, I was minding my own business at the grocery store last week and picked up a bottle of Kombucha (which is Whole 30 friendly) and thought that although it’s super trendy and that kind of bothers me, I’d give it a try anyway. I immediately wondered where this had been all my life and why I had been reluctant. It’s my new favorite thing – whole 30 or not.
The Kombucha (if you’ve never had it) is a fermented tea that has live and active cultures (like yogurt, but I detest yogurt). When I opened that first bottle, I was pleasantly surprised that it’s lightly effervescent, and has a little bit of an acidic kick (like other fermented things (sauerkraut, kimchi… wine?!?!)). The idea of wine popped right into my head and I thought, this would make an amazing sangria. A sangria that is alcohol free, low in sugar, and has those active cultures?! Sign me up.
This post is sponsored by Cambria
In our house, summer is best spent outside. Partially because of the gorgeous weather, and partially because in our century-old house, there is no a/c and most of the time, it’s cooler outside in the shade of our wooded backyard. Regardless of my reasons, I think we can all agree that outdoor parties are part of what makes summer summer.
You guys have seen that I host sit-down dinner parties pretty often, but the majority of the parties we have start small. One friend stops by after work, then another sees some cars in the driveway and stops by, then before you know it, we’ve got anywhere from six to fourteen people pouring drinks, the music is pumping and the grill is firing up something we’ve pulled out of our fridge.
I’ve been waiting for this day all week because I finally get to share the wine pairing party I had last weekend! I shared with you all last week that I am so so honored to be asked to work with Cambria on a series of posts sharing how I make entertaining with wine easy and non-intimidating. If you’re someone who gets nervous when it comes to hosting a party or thinking about pairings, you’ll love this post.
The really special thing about this party is that the entire thing was based around Chardonnay. So instead of thinking of multiple wines and different foods and how it all works together, I’ve taken a huge chunk of the guess work out of planning this dinner by downsizing my wine list to one. Yes, one. And I severely downsized my food offerings too. This might seem crazy, but it works wonderfully… hear me out!