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Nashville Hot Chicken – Epi 31

Nashville Hot Chicken – Epi 31

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks (Nashville Hot Chicken and beer this week) that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 31 Notes: Malice Made Magic

What makes Nashville hot chicken real? What does a drunken womanizer and a pissed off woman have to do with Nashville’s most famous cuisine? Join us now to find out for yourself.

Transcript of Podcast:

*Note – This is the full episode and containers spoilers. You can always listen to the podcast above.

There were too many women and not enough time. That was Thornton’s problem. Thornton was working his way toward his next wife and struggling to choose the right woman. It was the early 1930’s and he was in Nashville finding every opportunity he could to sow his oats. And… oh… there was no shortage of opportunity. 

Thornton had his pick of women. He was tall, dark, and muscular. His smile melted hearts and there was a rich, timber quality about his voice that drove women crayzee. He’d always had a way with the ladies. That’s part of the reason he’d gone through several marriages already. There were just too many options and Thornton…loved the ladies. 

Take last night, for instance. He’d gotten home late. It was Sunday, not Saturday, when he stumbled in. He was drunk and smelling like the woman he’d spent the night with. He had her scent, but the walk home in the hot night had left him sweaty. Between his sweat and the smell of booze coming out of every pore of his being, he knew there was no way she knew.

The she, of course, was his live in girlfriend. And she was different from the woman he’d spent last night with. While he debated what to do, he also felt sure that he’d gotten away with it. Of course, all the ladies listening now know that’s not the case. I haven’t met a woman that can’t sniff out a lie a mile away.

But, Thornton was mostly, kinda, pretty much sure that she didn’t have a clue. He sat at the breakfast table sipping on his coffee and nursing a pounding headache from the night before. She was cooking him breakfast in the kitchen, like she always did. So, that was a good sign. Surely, if she was angry, she’d just say so. She’d use her words. Surely, any woman would do that. They wouldn’t play guessing games… or see if you can read minds…or test you in any way whatsoever just to see if you care. Right? Right?

So, Thornton, knowing this, felt pretty good about his chances of not getting caught. He watched her work, picking the food out of the bowl and then transferring it to the hot skillet. It sizzled and let up a bit of steam with it hit. He smelled it instantly. 

“Smell good in there.” He sipped his coffee.

“Thanks, honey.” She poked at the fry pan. “I’m making you something real special today.”

Thornton liked special. He took another sip of coffee. His head pounded from his hangover but the coffee was helping and he was feeling pretty darn good indeed. His mind wandered to the woman from last night. He’d met her out at the bar. Someone new. And that was always exciting. She was new and fun. 

The drinking and the womanizing and the lying was just a regular Saturday night for Thornton. He liked to have a good time. He looked up from his coffee when he heard her enter the room. She smiled and set a plate of food down in front of him.

“Eat up, Princey, baby.”

Prince. That was what everyone called him. He was Thornton Prince, but went by Prince. He flashed his smile, the smile he knew made all the ladies melt. “Thanks, sweet baby.”

Only she didn’t melt. But, Prince didn’t notice. He already had eyes for nothing but his plate of food. 

The food was steaming and looked amazing. It smelled different. Just a bit. Not much and he couldn’t place it. But, it could have also been his senses, beat into submission by the alcohol and lack of sleep.

His girl turned away and headed back to the kitchen to clean up. He heard the banging of pans and dishes. How lucky he was to have a woman like her? Someone that cooked and cleaned? Tended to his needs? Plus, he could still go out and live it up with the boys on a Saturday night like usual.  

Thornton cut off his first piece of meat and stuffed it into his mouth. It was hot but he chewed it. Then…he coughed. He felt the heat next. Not, the temperature heat, but the spice heat. It burned his lips and the inside of his mouth. His tongue was on fire. 

Next came the classic meat sweats and he pulled at the collar of his shirt. He coughed again. “Baby, this is something special.”

She was in the room again, smiling sweetly. Batting her eyes at him, her hands folded in front of her stomach and on top of her apron. “Oh, do you like it? Please, eat up.”

Ol’ Prince could pick up on a trick and he knew he was being played. He knew something was up, but didn’t know what.  

She clearly was not happy with him. But, he wasn’t about to let her know he knew. The first rule of dating women is never asking them if they are okay. They’ll share when they’re ready. 

Besides, he was Prince, and Prince does what he wants. So, as casually as he could, he cut into his breakfast and plopped another piece in his mouth. Another explosion of flavor hit him and brought on a new wave of heat and sweat. He gulped it down. He looked at her. She was still smiling. She was urging him to keep eating. 

So, he took another bite. And another. By bite six he was getting used to the heat. The shock had worn off. He was starting to enjoy it now. In fact, he was enjoying it so much that an idea came to him. He’d never actually had something like this before. 

Sure, the style of cooking was nothing new, a relic of the older African American days, and a style of cuisine that stuck around still today. But, the spice was different. The heat. Whatever she’d done, she’d somehow blended a traditional take on the meal with a new kick. And it did kick, but you got used to it.  

Perhaps… there was something here. 

“Say, what you put on this? It’s pretty good.”

She huffed. She put her hands on her hips and stomped. “I know you was out last night with another woman. I smell it on ya. You can’t hide it.”

Oh, he thought. So, she does know. Since there was no denying it, he said nothing. She was a good woman and he could have done a bit better with her, maybe. Instead, he went back to eating breakfast.  

Of course, offering no explanation was probably one of the worst things. But, the worst thing he could have done, he did. That was ignore her comment AND go back to eating the breakfast she’d made in a failed attempt to punish him.  

She exploded in a chorus of cursing and shouting that ended with her packing up her shit and walking herself out of the house. 

So, Prince, found himself without a girlfriend because she did indeed know what he had done last night and he was not as smooth or as suave as he though, even if he was a Casanova with the ladies. And, worse still for Prince, he didn’t get the recipe for what she’d cooked.

He had some experimenting to do, and he went to work. When he finally perfected the blend, he tested it out with family and friends. Their appreciation of his breakfast inspired him to take the next leap, which was to open his own restaurant, serving this uniquely Nashville food. 

Four generations later that six booth restaurant and the recipe he came up with, which was meant to be a punishment from his girlfriend, was still around. In fact, it became so famous that a festival was started in its honor. Competitors popped up all over Nashville too and now there are almost two dozen of them in the area. They popped up around the world too. 

But, the thing is, there is nothing like the original. There is no place anywhere that makes this breakfast, like it’s made in Nashville. 

Nashville Hot Chicken

First, this breakfast has been served in Nashville’s African American communities for decades, which is where its roots come from.

Meat is marinated in a water-based spice blend that also contains buttermilk.

Buttermilk helps lock in the meat juices and adds to the food’s flavor.

Then the meat is floured.

Then fried. While using a deep fryer is more common today, an authentic place will still pan fry their meal. 

Finally, a special spicy paste is applied. This was the secret and a secret. A blend of hot sauce, cayenne, garlic, and lard. 

When it’s made traditionally, Nashville style, the paste is brushed on right after the food is fried. 

In common variations today, the paste is added as part of the breading and then fried.

The variations, though, aren’t what we’re here for. And there is an art to making this dish, an art which is closely guarded by the most authentic, original restaurants in Nashville. It’s why there is literally nowhere in the world that makes this food like they do in Nashville. 

It’s why people arrive at the airport and get a ride straight to these restaurants before doing anything else. 

It’s why some of these restaurants ship their food all over the world. 

And it’s how Thornton Prince, a notorious womanizer, who was married five times over his lifetime, ended up the creator of all this magic. 

Magic from malice.

A scorned, angry girlfriend trying to enact punishment on her man for cheating by over-spicing his morning breakfast in an attempt to make him suffer one last time before she left. Because hurting people hurt people, and she was definitely hurt by Prince.

Instead her plan backfired, which I’m sure made her even angrier. After the initial shock of how spicy the food was wore off, Prince actually found the dish quite tasty. 

It was probably great for his hangover. And it definitely goes great with a light beer to help soothe that burning mouth feel. It was so tasty and so perfect for what he wanted that he turned this food – Nashville Hot Chicken – into a thing far beyond breakfast. And start a restaurant that would be passed through his family for four generations, where it’s still a staple of Nashville and bears his name today. 

It’s called Prince’s Hot Chicken. 

And it was also the inspiration behind the Music City Nashville Hot Chicken Festival which was been kickin’ since 2006 and, in 2024, is in its 18th year. 

Finally, it’s proof that the good lord Jesus, right here in the bible belt of America, turned sin into beauty, by turning adultery into Nashville’s most famous fried food. Malice made magic.

Anyway…I’ll drink to that. And also have a bit of Nashville hot chicken as a side piece. 

Independence Day & The Rights of our Country – Epi 30

Independence Day & The Rights of our Country – Epi 30

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks (a special independence day episode this week) that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 30 Notes:

It was a time without a standard. A time where everything was questioned, because everything should be questioned. And a time in history, about a very tragic and important moment of firsts, that we should never forget. This episode is a special Independence Day edition. 

Transcript of Podcast:

The wind whipped through the mountains on the western frontier, but that didn’t stop James from going out today. He had a deal to make and they were expecting him. He just wished he would have dressed warmer. James pulled his coat a little closer around him and waited.

They arrived a few minutes later, a group of them. More than he expected for a transaction like this. But, as long as they had what he needed, it didn’t matter.  

“Do you got it?” He yelled to them. James’ eyes went to the group gathered in front of him. His hand rested on his pistol, but he didn’t think things would come to that.  

They were a rough sort. Dirty, with threadbare clothes. Wearing hats and nervous faces. One of them, apparently the leader of the group, nodded and flicked his eyes to the side. Another one, this one a boy, opened a thick, burlap sack and showed James the contents. There were beets still covered in dried, fresh dirt with their leafy green heads still attached. Cucumbers too. They were all sitting on top of green beans, which was what most of the sack contained. 

James let out a low whistle. It was perfect. You see, James was a grain farmer and he usually just traded for the other vegetables he needed. That was how they did things out West. They were all there because they preferred shopping local. They preferred organic. They were helping each other out as best they could, because they all lived the same ideals. Self sufficiency on their western farms. Trying to outrun the sprawling cities and get back to nature. James and his family would can up most of what was in the sack and their dream of living off the land and not having to rely on the city life could survive for another year.  

“Give me a minute.” He retreated. When he returned he was carrying payment. “The amount you asked for.” He handed it over and the leader let a smile cross his face. “That’ll do perfect.”

“And thanks for making the trip here. I could have met you somewhere closer.” James offered.

The leader simply shrugged and gave a dismissive wave. “It’s no problem. We have a few other stops today.”

Then they all said their goodbyes and went on their ways. James returned to his home, which was not too far away from where he’d paid the group of men for their vegetables. His wife would be happy. It was early July and the weather was hot. The growing season wasn’t completed for many crops yet. But, having the insurance of early yields put everyone’s mind at ease. Life was hard on the western frontier, after all. 

Far away from the frontier, men were arguing with each other over the fate of the country. Andrew was one of these men. He had a clear direction too. Guiding principles that he so firmly believed in he was willing to die for them. Lucky for Andrew, all he had to do was sell those ideas in the great halls of Congress. Which he did. Because, although he was proposing something that had never been done before, he was proposing something that would only affect the rich. 

For many in Congress it was considered a luxury tax, and the rich could afford to pay it. The rich would barely notice. After all, wasn’t it for the good of the country that so many over the years had laid down their lives?

Wasn’t the expectation that all should do their part to ensure the success of America? And shouldn’t everyone pay their fair share? 

America’s in a debt crises. The debt needed to be kept in check. The debt needed to be paid down. We must make good on our obligations. That was the argument Andrew made. And his solution was taxing products manufactured in the US. 

While the bill did come under some fire it was passed readily. Many clung to the concept of a luxury tax and argued or soothed their consciouses by saying that it would hurt those who would feel it less. 

It was several weeks later, in mid July when James learned of this tax. He was on the western frontier, after all, far from the bustling cities and word traveled a little slower out there. He learned of it when the tax collectors showed up with their federal agents welding rifles and demanding their money. After all, it was a federally mandated tax. All had to pay it. And James, would have to pay it or face fines and prison.   

But, James didn’t want to pay it. James would pay for many things. Take his vegetables from the neighboring farm, for instance. He had no problem paying for that. But, to pay a tax like this, James would not do. 

The year was 1794 and the American Revolution had ended a little over a decade ago. The wounds were still fresh. Too fresh for James, who remembered fighting along side President George Washington. 

At that time, they were fighting for freedom from an oppressor. They were fighting to escape taxation. That was the dream they believed in. That was the dream they all earned with the blood they spilled and the nightmares that haunted them of soldiers screaming and dying. Limbs exploding from cannon fire. Hot led sizzling skin and sending an unruly stench into the air that he could never forget. 

No, James would pay for many things, but he would not pay for this. He could not afford to. He was a survivor on the western fringe of the United States of America. He was not one of those rich that congress said they were taxing. He, was not part of the luxury. This, was his livelihood and so the tax hit him harder. 

He wasn’t the only one either, and reports of the tarring and feathering of tax collectors began to surface. The farmers were angry. They had spoken. The poor, who were tilling up the land and trying to make a living as best they could, would not pay this tax because they had not been consulted about paying this tax…. And they could not afford it. 

Alexander Hamilton thought different though, and he said so to President George Washington when he asked. There was no way they could continue to pay off their debts without more income. They needed more money and this was, what seemed like, the easiest way to balance the scales. 

The fight for freedom had cost more than just lives. They’d paid in coin as well as blood. And they’d borrowed from allies around the world that wanted to see if this new nation, dedicated to the idea that all men are created equal, could survive it’s experiment and become what it set out to be. 

But, it was encountering its first hurdle. They broke free to escape taxation and now they were bringing taxation back. Wasn’t this just another tyrant under a different name?

What made these men, who now endeavored to levy taxes upon their fellow man any better or more righteous of such a levy than the King of England? President George Washington wrested with this and he relied on his secretary of state Alexander Hamilton to help him work through these things. 

Because, you see, this problem was one that encompassed the moral character of the country. Who did the country want to become if it would stand for freedom and independence for all? What shape, form and size would a government like that need to take?

The thing about decisions is that once you make the first one a natural progression down a certain path begins to happen. It’s much more difficult to pull yourself out of that pathway too and start over. It requires twice as much energy. So, while making the decision may be as easy as saying yes, living with the consequences of that decision is lasting. 

This was the situation that the first wards of our country found themselves in. They had no road map and no direction, beyond their confidence and trust in each other and their own moral character. They had to believe that their intentions were true, that their actions were right. 

So, when word of the uprisings on the western frontier was received by President George Washington he began to question his decision to support the tax. Had he made the right decision? Were their unintended consequences and people he never meant to suffer, now suffering because he was making decisions from thousands of miles away with a disregard for those struggling to survive. 

If only we could have such noble leaders today. Leaders that are guided by their moral character and not the game of politics. Leaders who desire to do good and right and not make a career out of getting fat on the teat of the taxpayer. If only, we, in our time, would be so lucky to be guided to people of passion, not people of greed, despite whether we agree with them on principles or not. 

The soul of America was fought for in the American Revolution. While there were many civil wars and many wars that fought for freedom, none before, or since have done so with such focus on the hope alone. For, America was nothing more than an idea, an undeveloped land of opportunity that could be shaped into anything. 

It was people like James who were shaping it, which is why James felt the need to once more take up his gun and defend against tyranny, this time an internal one. 

It was July 17, 1794 and James had his militia surrounding the home of General Neville. He saw the white flag fluttering and believed that the general wanted to discuss terms. After all, there was no way he alone was going to survive against the farmer raised militia that the people of the western frontier had raised in rebellion against the luxury tax. 

Only, his eyes deceived him. There was no white flag. And instead Major James McFarlane was shot and killed by someone from inside the house. His dream of homesteading on the western frontier would die with him. He’d survived the revolution, only to be taken by his own countrymen, men that he fought so hard to free. 

Months later President George Washington would try to negotiate with the disgruntled, poor farmers, who were expanding Westward and laying the groundwork for what is to become modern day America. The talks failed and, the president raised a militia of 13,000 troops and marched on the rebellion. 

By the time they arrived the 5,000 rebels had disbanded and only 150 were arrested. Two were convicted of treason, but over the next few years they would both be pardoned. 

The new taxation act, signed by Congress, and assumed to be a minor tax that would only inconvenience the rich would be forced down onto the farmers and their lives would change. 

It was the first time that the United States of America had raised an army and marched on its own people to enforce a law. But, we all know it wasn’t, nor will it, be the last.

The old powers of the world no doubt snickered behind their closed doors, glad to see those 13 colonies struggling and failing to control their people without force of death. And I’m sure for some there were even “I told you so’s.”

That wasn’t the only first though. Up until this point, in the relatively brief history of the United States of America, a tax had never been brought forth against its people. While they did tax goods entering the United States, no goods or sales were taxed in the United States. 

It took less than 15 years for this new country to break its word and start taxing its people once again. 

But, that wasn’t the only other first, either. 

You see, the reason James was so upset that he was willing to die for his principles versus pay the tax, was that the tax was on Whiskey. 

Yes, the first internal tax in the United States of America was on Whiskey. And while it was a luxury item for many of the wealthy in the cities, out on the Western Frontier,

Which at this time was Western Pennsylvania, 

Whiskey was a currency. 

Grain farmers could store their product for longer by converting it to Whiskey form. 

They could also transport it easier. 

So, frontier farmers, because they were poor, often traded whiskey as a form of currency, instead of gold and silver coins. 

The tax wasn’t just a tax on a vice, a drink, it was a tax on their currency, which meant it was a tax on their very livelihood. And for someone already risking their life on the frontier of America, this was an insult. 

Independence Day

As we near July 4th, I think this story was an especially important one to tell. 

We tend to get so caught up in the drinking and sunshine and fireworks of the holiday that we forget the tough decisions that our country once wrestled with. We forget that our country was once noble and filled with people who wanted to serve with morality and a sense of pride in what they do, even if they got it wrong from time to time. 

And this story is an important reminder that a government can turn against its people, and will, when the will of the government is different from the will of the people. So, with that, I’ll leave you with the inscription written on Major James McFarlane’s gravestone:

Here lies the body of Captain James McFarlane of Washington, PA. He departed this life July 17, 1794 aged 43. He served through the war with undaunted courage in defense of American independence against the lawless and despotic encroachments of Great Britain. He fell at last by the hands of an unprincipled villain in support of what he supposed to be the rights of his country, much lamented by a numerous and respectable circle of acquaintances.    

May you, especially now, remember what the rights of your country are. Happy Independence Day and a thank you to all those that live with principle and honor. We remember you always.

Anyway… I’ll drink to that.

Homemade Sangria & Hardware Store Tarp Blue – Epi 29

Homemade Sangria & Hardware Store Tarp Blue – Epi 29

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks (homemade sangria in this episode) that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 29 Notes:

The traveling Hank went around the world, only to find a secret summer treasure, in a remote place, an old man, and an island that had many secrets to share, including homemade sangria. 

Transcript of Podcast:

*This is the entire podcast episode in written form. Do not read if you want the audio version to be spoiled.

The water is blue today. A Hardware store $20 tarp blue color. And the only difference between the tarp and what moves before Hank is the diamonds shimmering across the surface as the wind ripples the water, which reflects the sun. Below his feet the sand is hot and he had to turn his feet on their edges to protect the soles from scalding. The sand is a fine silt and feels soft. Behind him, there is the tink, tink, tink of the cooling four wheeler engine. 

He’s dusty from zipping down dry roads on the island and speeding past hand built, stone stacked walls with reckless joy. The land was partitioned off by these simple stone walls, which were formed by men who had stacked blocks of stone on top of each other. They weren’t high, maybe knee height in some places to waist-high in others, but they served their purpose whether that was to keep animals in or mark off territory.

Hank zipped by them all. He liked to punch the throttle and hear the engine whine. See the trail of dust leap into the air and form a thin line like crop-dusters dusting fields of corn. This reckless abandon led Hank many places. It took him to a marble quarry where precious, famous marble is mined. It’s the same type of marble that was used in the statues throughout Athens. Or, in the temples and ancient ruins of that city. 

There are other wonders on the islands too. The butterfly house with native flowers and butterflies that smells like lavender and crisp, tree fruit. Hank was moving slow and quiet through the house, letting the butterflies circle around him and brush against his skin. Then dash away to the safety of flower petals and leaves. 

Beyond the butterfly house and the marble quarry, there is a winery with a handwritten “Wine and Liquor” sign in black paint. At first Hank couldn’t find the man. He turned to leave when we heard someone call him back. And there he was. An older Greek man, emerging from a nearby garage.  Following him into his small barn he cleared off two seats and took a seat himself.  

He was in his mid fifties and had spent his whole life in this house. His mother before him and her mother before her had owned the property.  When he was younger he had ventured off the Island and traveled around Europe. He went to school for engineering. He worked as a sailor. He worked in Spain. He traveled extensively.  

Eventually, he returned home to his simple life of working the land with his hands and turning the products of nature into products for consumption. He chain smoked and spoke in a combination of spanish, english and greek calling a church, iglesia and a beach, playa. He set out his honey liquor and kept talking. He had sunshine in his heart and he was determined to share it. 

His son left him. Moved to the mainland. He needed the city life, the vintner said. He needed the excitement. There was nothing he wanted here.

Hank looked around. The idea struck him as odd. This place to hold everything worth having and none of the things that were worth avoiding. There was no traffic. No fear of getting robbed or beaten. Derelict buildings were replaced with sunshine and fresh air instead of car exhaust. 

Hank liked the man. Hank also liked the honey liquor. So, Hank bought a bottle of white wine from the man and felt the sunshine in his heart. Then he stuffed the wine into his four wheeler and continued on. He road through the dusty switchbacks from one side of the island to the other and found an empty beach. This, was as good a place as any to enjoy a nice bottle of wine. A good bottle of wine is also made better by the people and place. That goes for a mediocre bottle of wine too. Come to think of it. The people and the moment, are just as important as the experience itself. 

So, that’s what drove Hank off of his four wheeler in the middle of the day and on to the beach. The beaches in Greece are different. Ungroomed. Sharp and pointy on the feet. You have to swing your arms for balance as stones jab at you. Hank looked like an ape in that moment. Picking his way through the hot, golden sand on the edges of his feet. Trying to avoid the sharp, jabbing pangs from the rocky beach. Swinging his arms for balance. The only thing missing was an “oooo”, “oooo”, “oooo!”

Whooshhhh!

Another wave crashes against the shore of the empty beach. Hank took a sip of the wine and reflected on his life. Most didn’t believe he lived this life. They thought he was lying. They couldn’t related to it so it couldn’t be true. 

But, a month ago it was St. Petersburg, Russia and then shooting big guns in Estonia. Two weeks ago it was Budapest seeing the travesties of socialism in a former soviet bloc country.  Today it’s the Greek islands for Hank, an area often described with clichés such as “sun-soaked” and “white-washed.” 

Days ago Hank left behind the busy city of Athens, its crowded streets, noisy cars and constant bustle for this little plot of sand he now sits on. Life on the islands is different, simpler. It’s made better by wine. 

And this wine tastes light like the carefree attitude of island life. It’s airy, like the wind blowing through you on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Soft and friendly, like the vintner’s smile. But, the wine also has hints of something more. It’s a perfect wine. A perfect summer sipper.

And it reminded Hank of the plants near the top of the island. They were green and very much alive but struggling against the heat and dry ground to grow big. They had that special quality of surviving, despite harsh conditions.  

They put down roots into the ground and latched on to the dry, hard ground with all their strength. They were not going anywhere. They would fulfill their purpose, even if these vines wouldn’t grow as tall or hardy as some of their other European siblings. They would adapt to the difficult conditions. They would grow in different ways, with their trunks winding in a circle around themselves as a way to protect the buds inside. They would share their grapes. They would bring joy, like they were bringing joy now to Hank. 

And in their taste they would also give hope. Because a good glass of wine can be the only thing that matters, at times. In truth, the rest of the things don’t matter. Nothing matters, in fact, but being in that moment. In that place, wherever that place is. With whoever you want to share that moment with.     

For Hank, right now this was the island of Paros, a place not claiming to have the best sunset in the world, or the lost city of Atlantis, but a place holding a silent confidence in its beaches, which line either side of the island, like a sandwich, with a great mountain in the middle.

A place where you can smell tropical flowers in the air, have butterflies brush your skin, and speak to a retired engineer who is staying young by keeping the sunshine in his heart, and sharing that sunshine with whoever stops by. 

It would actually be that sunshine which would inspire Hank over a decade later in a different way. A way that would create a product that could also give people that same sense of connection to the present moment and the joy of being there. 

It’s why Hank added lavender to his homemade sangria, as a reminder of those strong, tropical smells that inspired him all those years ago. As a way to transport other people to that same state of mind. To experience the best within them, by experiencing the best around them. Because, the fact is, that life is meant to be lived and the best way to live life is through experiences.

It’s why Hank, which was the pen name for me, Sam,

Decided to create Sam’s Sangria, a Greek inspired homemade sangria 

It was a selfish reason really. 

An inability to find a drink that could taste like the Greek Islands tasted.

An inability to find someone who had the experience, the years of travel, the work ethic, and the desire to actually create a drink that had some thought behind it. 

It’s a selfish reason really.

The desire to bring the sunshine to your heart, the way the retired engineer, turned vintner brought the sunshine to my heart.

It’s why I created Summer Sipper

A sugar free, lavender, orange and raspberry sangria kit that can make homemade quality sangria in 10 minutes and turn $10 wine into $100 dollar wine.

And bring you some sunshine… nay… some SAMshine.

Anyway, I’ll drink to that. 

White Sangria Cocktail Recipe

White Sangria Cocktail Recipe

The Perfect White Sangria Cocktail Recipe:

You’re here for a white sangria cocktail recipe, so let’s get it. This recipe is modeled after our popular Santeria Sangria, which is a blend between traditional, Spanish sangria and a refreshing, unique Boozn Sam’s take in the form of floral notes that balance out the sweet fruit flavors.  

Ingredients:

  • A bottle of Pinot Grigio
  • 1/4 cup Elderflower liqueur
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1 medium sized orange, sliced
  • 1/2 pint of fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 pint of strawberries, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin
  • Fresh Mint
  • Ice cubes

Assembly

  1. Slice your fruit. All of it. Large chunks will do. Put in a large pitcher.
  2. Add your bottle of wine
  3. Add your liquor. Note, the liquor adds tastes and fortifies. You can make this without extra liquor. Add another orange and a full pint of strawberries.
  4. Let sit for an hour (overnight is better.)
  5. Grab the glass of your choosing. Fill the glass half full with ice. Add your sangria.
  6. Garnish with your fresh mint. 
  7. Enjoy.

The Extended Version for making a White Sangria Cocktail Recipe

n this blog post, we’ll be sharing a sensational Orange White Sangria Cocktail recipe that will elevate your summer gatherings to new heights. Bursting with citrusy flavors and infused with the essence of the season, this cocktail is guaranteed to be a hit at any soirée. So, let’s embark on a journey to cocktail perfection and delight in the flavors of summer.

Sangria is best served chilled, allowing the flavors to meld together and develop over time. Many recipes recommend refrigerating the sangria for several hours or even overnight before serving to achieve the optimal flavor profile.

One of the great things about sangria is its versatility. You can customize it to suit your taste preferences and the ingredients you have on hand. Experiment with different fruits, wines, spirits, and sweeteners to create your own signature sangria masterpiece.

Ingredients:

  • A bottle of Pinot Grigio
  • 1/4 cup Elderflower liqueur
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1 medium sized orange, sliced
  • 1/2 pint of fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 pint of strawberries, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin
  • Fresh Mint
  • Ice cubes

Assembly

  1. Slice your fruit. All of it. Large chunks will do. Put in a large pitcher.
  2. Add your bottle of wine
  3. Add your liquor. Note, the liquor adds tastes and fortifies. You can make this without extra liquor. Add another orange and a full pint of strawberries.
  4. Let sit for an hour (overnight is better.)
  5. Grab the glass of your choosing. Fill the glass half full with ice. Add your sangria.
  6. Garnish with your fresh mint. 
  7. Enjoy.

Final Notes:

The longer you let your white sangria cocktail recipe sit the stronger the flavors will infuse and the more intense your sangria will be. I like to let my drinks meld overnight. If you’re short on time, and want to skip the hassle of buying all the ingredients, buy the kit. Many of the ingredients are organic, and, since they are dried ingredients, they are more potent. You can get a great sangria in 10 minutes!

Red Sangria Recipe

Red Sangria Recipe

The Perfect Red Sangria Recipe:

You’re here for the red sangria recipe, so let’s get it. This recipe is modeled after our popular Santeria Sangria, which is a blend between traditional, Spanish sangria and a refreshing, unique Boozn Sam’s take in the form of floral notes that balance out the sweet fruit flavors.  

Ingredients:

  • A bottle of Tempranillo or Grenache red wine (feeling fancy? Check out this delicious Bayfield Winery Row 25
  • 1 medium sized red apple
  • 1 medium sized oranges, sliced
  • 1/2 pint of fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 pint of fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 pint of strawberries
  • Dried Rose or Hibiscus Petals
  • Ice cubes

Assembly

  1. Slice your fruit. All of it. Large chunks will do. Put in a large pitcher.
  2. Add your bottle of wine
  3. Let sit for an hour (overnight is better.)
  4. Grab the glass of your choosing. Fill the glass half full with ice. Add your sangria.
  5. Garnish with your flower petals. 
  6. Enjoy.

*Fortify with triple sec orange

The Extended Version for making Red Sangria

Although sangria’s appeal lies in its versatility and the way it brings people together over food and drink, nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned red sangria recipe. This recipe is modeled after our popular Santeria Sangria, which is a blend between traditional, Spanish sangria and a refreshing, unique Boozn Sam’s take in the form of floral notes that balance out the sweet fruit flavors.  

It’s perfect for all sunny, summer activities. The Beach. Grilling out. Bike Rides. In your coffee mug at playgrounds with your kids. Running with the bulls in Spain. Proof I did that:

The word “sangria” itself is derived from the Spanish word “sangre,” meaning “blood,” which refers to the deep red color of traditional red sangria. The earliest documented references to sangria date back to the Middle Ages when it was common practice to mix wine with water to purify it and make it safer to drink.

We’re keeping things Spanish around here. Hola. So, the wines provided are sweeter, lighter Spanish wines. But, if you want to spice things up you can always use a local wine from your area. I’m a big fan of a rose, like this rose called Row 25, from my friends at Bayfield Winery. 

Ingredients:

  • A bottle of Tempranillo or Grenache red wine
  • 1 medium sized red apple
  • 1 medium sized oranges, sliced
  • 1/2 pint of fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 pint of fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 pint of strawberries
  • Dried Rose or Hibiscus Petals
  • Ice cubes

Assembly

  1. Slice your fruit. All of it. Large chunks will do. Put in a large pitcher.
  2. Add your bottle of wine
  3. Let sit for an hour (overnight is better.)
  4. Grab the glass of your choosing. Fill the glass half full with ice. Add your sangria.
  5. Garnish with your flower petals. 
  6. Enjoy.

*Fortify with triple sec orange

Final Notes:

The longer you let your red sangria recipe sit the stronger the flavors will infuse and the more intense your sangria will be. I like to let my drinks meld overnight. If you’re short on time, and want to skip the hassle of buying all the ingredients, buy the kit. Many of the ingredients are organic, and, since they are dried ingredients, they are more potent. You can get a great sangria in 10 minutes!

The Ultimate White Wine Sangria Sangria Recipe

The Ultimate White Wine Sangria Sangria Recipe

There is a sangria recipe, and then there is a sangria sangria recipe. This is the latter. Transport yourself to a tropical paradise with our latest creation: Pineapple Coconut Sangria. It’s exotic. It’s delicious. It’s not for everyone. But, if you love coconut, then you’ll love this. Taking a sip is like taking a trip to a sunny, tropical beach, with palm trees swaying behind you and the gentle lapping of the surf in front of you. Check it out now, and let me know what you think in the comments or on social media.

Ingredients for White Wine Pineapple Coconut Sangria:

Ingredients:

To create a yummy Pineapple Coconut Sangria, you’ll need the following:

– 1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio

– 1 cup coconut rum

– 1/2 cup coconut water

– 1/4 cup pineapple juice

– 1/4 cup simple syrup (adjust to taste)

– 1 cup diced pineapple

– 1 cup shredded coconut

– 1 lime, thinly sliced

– Fresh mint leaves for garnish

– Ice cubes for serving

Instructions:

1. dice up that pineapple, but watch those fingers. Nothing ruins a good time like losing a finger.

2.  In a large pitcher, combine the dry white wine, coconut rum, coconut water, pineapple juice, and simple syrup. Stir with all your might, but not too much might, ensuring all ingredients are well mixed. Gotta get them flavors to harmonize.

3.  Now it’s time to casually chuck in the diced pineapple and shredded coconut.

4. Those delicious flavors need time to infuse. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. More flavor, more time. Infuse overnight for a more intense, delicious taste.

4. Then simply add ice to glasses, mix in white sangria. Serve and enjoy!

*Want it extra boozy and with more flavor? Add in orange triple sec.

**Add lime or lemon seltzer water for some fizz.

White Wine Pineapple Coconut Sangria:

I’ll admit. This recipe isn’t for everyone. But, it is an amazing white wine sangria for those itching for a bit of tropical flavor and fun. If’ you’ve read this far, I’m amazed at your attention span. Pat yourself on the back, and enjoy your Sangria. Thanks for being here. Thanks for being you. Have the best day ever.

Skip the DIY and save time by using Boozn Sam’s premade sugar-free Sangria kits.