Housewife Sangria: My Secret Cocktail for Drinking Responsibly

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I love to enjoy an icy cocktail on the beach, more than one, even. But overdoing it is a surefire way to ruin a lovely vacation. When I pour a cocktail, I make it last all day, and Housewife Sangria is a great way to trick myself into thinking I'm indulging.

When I go to a wedding, I request half pours of wine at the bar. I want to feel wild and crazy, having four drinks, even though I really only had two. Should I be more mature about the whole thing? Should I sip slowly and limit myself without adding extra work to the bartender's load? Sure. But I know myself pretty well, and I tend to want to get on the dance floor, not sit around nursing a glass of Chardonnay.

And at the beach, I want to be one of the cool kids, sipping a cocktail all day without yelling at passersby, experiencing wardrobe malfunctions, embarrassing my friends, then falling asleep and getting a sunburn. 

Here's how I do it:

  1. I fill an insulated tumbler with ice. You can't beat Tervis, by the way.
  2. I drop in a few seasonal berries and add wedges of lemon and lime.
  3. For the first round, I add a splash of vodka, topping it with sparkling white wine, seltzer and a splash of unsweetened cranberry juice.
  4. Sip and enjoy!

But when it's time for round two, I leave the fruit in the glass, adding just wine, seltzer and another splash of cranberry. Depending on how the drink has affected me, subsequent versions may have just a small splash of wine for flavor. 

By the end of the night, I'm sipping nothing but seltzer and cranberry, flavored by the lingering fruit at the bottom of my tumbler. VoilĂ ! My own personal all-day sangria.

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Bonus: The unsweetened cranberry juice is a natural diuretic, so it helps me avoid the bloat that can come from eating too much pimento cheese, drinking too much alcohol and spending the day on a hot beach.

Housewife Sangria is perfect for all day holidays like the Fourth of July. (I'll probably add blueberries with the cranberry juice for a red, white and blue theme!) I also sip club soda with lime between drinks at parties, because I'm like Pavlov's dog: If there's a tiny straw and a lime in it, my brain thinks it's a cocktail.

How do you drink responsibly without depriving yourself?

(Images: Anne Postic)

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