I went to the most lovely party this past weekend, I have to tell you about it. It’s the season, you know—warm days and evenings that stay light late. It’s summer party season.
In this case, it was a surprise birthday party. The birthday girl had been lured with promise of dinner and roasting smores over a campfire, only to discover friends of hers had put together a party. The backyard was decorated so lovely, with lights and candles and flowers and small potted plants (I’m considering hiring the host to style my next party, she’s got quite the eye).
These are food-loving people, so there were good eats—carnitas and tortillas, an amazing corn salad (I’m scheming to get the recipe), and the pickled red onions that I love so much.
There was salmon flown down from the Yukon that had been caught just the day before. It was cooked on the grill and unlike any fish I’ve ever tasted before. Of course my seafood mentor Jon Rowley was behind the salmon.
And late in the evening, there were indeed roasted marshmallows and smores and good conversation on blankets around a fire pit. I cannot tell you how happy that made me. One of my lifelong goals is to obtain a fire pit of my own, so I can have campfires whenever I want.
But what I really wanted to tell you about was the sangria.
Not only was it delicious, it was served in the most adorable manner—Mason jars pre-filled and tucked into a tub of ice. There was a small basket next to the tub, in which you could dispose of your lids to keep your hands free, and a pitcher of extra sangria hidden on the other side of the tub for refills. Once we got over the sheer charm of the presentation, all we could talk about was how good it was and how easy it went down. After two glasses, I had to switch to juice.
But seriously, I am stealing this idea and you might want to as well. Imagine margaritas in jars, mojitos in jars, boozy vodka lemonade in jars. The possibilities are fun to think about.
Summer is still young, my friends, and there are many parties to plan. I need something to do with my extra canning jars, anyway. I’m grateful for a lovely evening, and a clever entertaining trick I am going to put to good use.
Here’s to the summer party season, may we all get to enjoy it.