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Laura’s Holly Jolly Sangria

2014 December 19
by Laura

I’m calling this Holly Jolly sangria, but just know that this can make any situation jollier. One time, Hols and I made this sangria for my brother’s graduation party, and everyone got smashed. It was GREAT! Inebriated family members always make great memories.

I’m making a big batch of this for a little holiday gathering this evening, so I used a magnum bottle of wine and also a smaller bottle. If you’re making this for 4, use just one small bottle of wine, and double accordingly. This sangria is awesome because it’s super easy and you can make it the morning of your event.

You’ll need just one secret ingredient: GIN.



Ingredients (for one small batch serving 4-5)

  • 1 bottle red wine (cabernet, merlot, shiraz, malbec, whatever you want)
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 1 navel orange, cut into wedges
  • splash of orange juice
  • 2-4 shots of gin, depending on how wild you want to make your party ;)
  • 1 tbsp sugar, optional (I don’t add sugar to mine, because I don’t like sickly sweet sangria, but it’s up to you!)
  • ginger ale to add just before serving

Pour the bottle of wine into a large pitcher and squeeze the fruit wedges into the wine, throwing the wedges into the pitcher as you go. (Squeeze the lemon through your hands to catch any seeds.)

Add the gin and a splash of orange juice and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight. When serving, pour the sangria mix into a glass and top it off with ginger ale. (You can also pour the ginger ale into the pitchers, but I don’t like carbonated beverages to go flat.)



Disclaimer/WARNING: This is very deadly, very dangerous sangria. You will be drunker than you think you are when you stand up for the first time off the couch after having a glass. BE CAREFUL!

25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 18

2014 December 19
by Laura

Day 18: One of my favorite new ornaments from Crate and Barrel: a llama face!! (Anyone see The Emperor’s New Groove? Anyone?)



25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 17

2014 December 19
by Laura



Day 17: Christmas drinks at The Hamilton.

25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 16

2014 December 16
by Laura

[Ed note: It’s December 16th?!?!??!]

Caught this rare moment of quietude for the Big Guy at the mall last Friday.


25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 15

2014 December 16
by Laura

Day 15: Festive government buildings are so sweet!


25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 14

2014 December 16
by Laura


Day 14: A Christmas concert at the National Cathedral.

25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 13

2014 December 14
by Laura

Day 13: SantaCon for a cause! Donating to hospice and children’s charities in Annapolis yesterday.


25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 12

2014 December 14
by Laura


Day 12: Babysitting has so many perks, one of which is catching up on my favorite Christmas book classics.

25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 11

2014 December 14
by Laura

Christmas chips and Mama Sull’s “Holsa.”


Winter reads

2014 December 11
by Laura

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, mainly because my library card pressures me to read books before I have to return them, and the imperfect library hold system usually results in me getting six books at once. I’ve been devouring books lately, reading them in between work, on my lunch breaks, curled on the couch with Rennie. I even convinced Someone to get a library card, too, so we now read in companionable silence quite often. Recent reads:

Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell








This was just an adorable little love story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Last Letter from Your Lover, Jojo Moyes








She makes me ugly cry. This was a great read.

One Plus One, Jojo Moyes








See above comments. Such a good story.

Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer








I read this book in one day. Enjoy.

Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty