A Birthday That Last...?

by Cindi Sutter, Founder of The Spirited Table®

Birthday celebrations obviously come in all shapes, sizes, quantities of happy participants and abundance of years.  

I had a recent milestone birthday, code for getting ancient, and for many reasons, I began celebrating early.

One birthday party is the standard operating procedure, but I find as I get older, I like those one on one or small group celebrations. You know, let's grab coffee and laugh at the "older themed" cards; and actually have time to talk about life, kids, dreams and generally just hang out for a couple of hours. 

So I'll share my birthday table encounters of all sizes, foods, and themes with you over the next few weeks. I'm blessed to have friends who live in many places, so whenever they ask, I'm going to celebrate!

Let's start with my honey...in the Tampa airport...at Columbia Restaurant; one of our favorite Floridian restaurants. Columbia's original "1905 Salad" and the makings of their amazing Sangria, had been ordered when I finally landed in my seat. Why is it men seem to have so much extra time while traveling? You know, their always waiting on us. But this time what happened during the wait ended up being super tasty and fun. 

If you're not familiar with Columbia, check out their website

So...fast forward back to Minneapolis.

My husband Bob, is a great cook; but I actually think one of his greatest culinary gifts is making up his version of food and drink finds. Thus his Sangria recipe below. Enjoy it, make up your own version of it and share it with us at thespiritedtable.com- under Contact


1/2 navel orange
1/2 tropical lime
1 Tbsp Trader Joe’s organic Blue Agave Sweetener (or comparable)
2 Tbsp Brandy
1/2 bottle Trader Joe’s Monte Ducay-Spanish Red Wine


  1. Cut navel orange in quarters. Lightly hand-squeeze into pitcher, squeeze lime into pitcher. Add squeezed rinds into pitcher as well. 
  2. Add Blue Agave, Brandy and Red wine to pitcher.
  3. Crush contents of pitcher with a heavy spoon or masher. 
  4. In each glass place a slice of navel orange, slice of lime and a Maraschino cherry. 
  5. Add ice to pitcher and serve in prepared glasses. 

Cook's Note

Monte Ducay at Trader Joes is $6.99/bottle - see label below