Cocktails for a Crowd (from my live demo at Springs Preserve)

Thanks to everyone who came to the demo at the Springs Preserve on July 19th. Special thanks to Chef Beni Velazquez for sharing his fabulous Peach Sangria with us. Here are the cocktail recipes and the dessert recipes will appear soon. If you attended the demo, I want to apologize for lying to you. That pitcher I used for the Mojitos is 2 quarts, not 1 ½ quarts.  Enjoy!

Peach Sangria

Origin: Chef Beni Velazquez

By Chef Beni LLC

Notes: Sangria is best made 1 day before it is needed.

1 bottle  (750 ml)   white wine, Spanish table wine

3 oz                            brandy

3 Tablespoon      sugar

5 ea                             peaches, use 3 of them for puree

2 Tablespoon       lemon juice

1 Each                        granny smith apples, peeled, deseeded and diced

1 Each                        oranges, quartered and sliced

1 Each                        lemons, quartered and sliced

Instructions: combine all ingredients and mix well 48 hrs. prior to drinking. When serving fill glass with ice then pour sangria with some fruit to ¾ of glass and top off with choice of soda water, sprite or sparkling wine.

Serves / Time:

Serves 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size 6oz

Total Time 20 minutes


Mojito Pitcher

This is NOT a really boozy drink ON PURPOSE.  It’s made to be an afternoon sipping cocktail.  If you make it this way, people can enjoy more than one without getting too drunk.  Of course you can adjust the alcohol content to suit yourself.

1 C white rum

2 limes

2 -3 Fresh mint sprigs

¼ C mint simple syrup (recipe follows)



I use a 2 Qt pitcher to make this and unlike a traditional Mojito, I use the ice IN the pitcher to complete the measurements.

In the pitcher, put the rum and the simple syrup.  Cut the limes crosswise, and using a citrus press, juice them and toss in the lime rinds.  “Bruise” the mint by rolling the sprigs in your hand and add to the pitcher.  Top with ice nearly filling the pitcher.  With a long wooden spoon or a long muddler, muddle the limes and mint with the ice and rum.  The ice and the muddler will break the mint up further and release more lime flavor from the rinds.  Don’t be alarmed if the mint breaks up and there are little pieces floating in the mix, that’s the idea.

Fill the remainder of the pitcher with 7-Up, stir and enjoy.  Makes about 6 servings.

Mint Simple Syrup – bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil.  Bruise 2 mint sprigs (6” each) and add to mixture.  Stir and remove from heat.  Cover and allow to cool, then strain.  Can be made 4 days in advance.  Also great in iced or hot tea.