A Toast to Spring

by Zehorit Heilicher, Tastemaker in Residence

White Sangria

White Sangria

Do you hear it too? The call of your neglected deck? Your lonely grill? It’s that time of year! So freshen up your deck or porch, dust off that grill, invite a few friends and of course, pour a few drinks…

What is it about greeting friends at the door with an offering of a refreshing cocktail that just seems to put everyone at ease and get the party started? I don’t have the answer – I just know it works! I love serving a drink with an herbal or fruity note: minty mojito, ginger-peach punch and white sangria – so many choices! Many of these drinks are wonderful even without alcohol added, which works great for high school graduation parties. Yes, it is also THAT time of year!

Try my shortcut mojito – quick and easy. I have also included a link for my “go to” punch for a crowd (alcohol optional) and white sangria. Let me know what you think!

Limeade Mojito
Serves 6

1 container Frozen limeade, thawed
4 cups mint leaves, packed well
4 cups Ice
12 oz Rum
Club soda, optional
Lime slices, for garnish
Mint leaves, for garnish


  1. Place mint and ice in the blender, alternating layers and process until smooth.
  2. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh colander and press on the solids to extract as much of the mint flavor as possible. Pour the mint water into a pitcher. Add rum and limeade and stir until well mixed.
  3. Place ice cubes in low-ball glasses and pour the mixture over them.
  4. Garnish with lime slices and fresh mint sprigs.

Easy Party Punch – Great with or without the alcohol. If you opt for the adult version try some vodka.

White Sangria – I use white peaches and green grapes, instead of the berries and oranges and add a few springs of mint.